The only thing that would be better is a linux based console so all the homebrew that runs on linux for xbox could be run without the need for the xdk. Most computer games could be properly remapped to use a gamepad, and stuff could be made for said new console. It doesn’t even have to be affordable, just similar in price to the 360 and ps3, which are both $300 plus. A nice system with a free OS could be made for that price, so it’s really a good time to start a system which does more than just play games or connect to an expensive media center PC. The open entertainment system is a real good idea and good possibility, and a version of Firefox would bring a real threat to msntv. Just bundle in a DUN system for netzero, earthlink, or juno and the ability to use a phone line in the ethernet jack (all thats needed is a fitter, so that if you plug in an ethernet cable it pushes in two side buttons that switch the jack from phone (hot on the middle two pins) to ethernet (not hot on those pins), and keep the system safe in the process.
If you know why I say that, then good. If not, well, you shouldnt plug a phone line into an ehternet port because its hot on those pins and would damage the NIC (possibly), this set of buttons would make the jack by default a phone line, going to an internal modem, and switch over to a NIC, which would be ok and change how the port works. Even better, a dual function nic/modem could do this in one device.
Sure, the shuttles exist, but you can’t play games on them nor do they look terribly good, too long and thin. A flatter item like the xbox or ps2 would work out better.
xbmc is teh win, a system which wouldn’t fight with you to put it on there is even better.