got all I need working:
nvidia 8400M – binary nvidia driver all works, even three screens setup with built-in LCD/external VGA/HDMI LCD TV ( LCD brightness control is not working, nvidia driver problem )
intel 4965 wifi – iwl4965 works for b/g, have no N to test
Marvell 88E8036 – sky2 works good enough for a marvell adapter
audio – alsa 1.0.16 options snd-hda-intel enable=1 model=vaio position_fix=0 works with headphones and built-in microphone
webcam – ricohn r5u870 Detected Sony VGP-VCC8, tested with skype, works
blue ray burner – Optiarc BD ROM BC-5500A, burned a DVD-RW, installed openSUSE 11b3 from it on the lab rat HP laptop, works
bluetooth – broadcom crap with options hci_usb reset=1, works
the rest of the things works without any intervention or errors
not tested yet:
firewire, card reader
A solid machine with nice magnesium case, a brilliant LCD, responsive and well “layouted” keyboard
Linux works great on it except for the never-go-away problems with custom ACPI stuff.
Comment if you stumble upon this post and have questions.