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Downsides to ATV1 + Crystalbuntu + BCM70015?
Ok, so my OG XBOX1 with XBMC is starting to sputter under the weight of some of the x264 mp4 files that have supplanted the old standard Xvid files I would get from the newsgroups every week. Not all the time, but enough that I have been thinking about upgrading. Right now, it's not in my best interest to go full 1080p = 720p projector + slow DSL line = not worth the time and effort for the payoff.
I've been thinking about building my own HTPC for a while, but I couldn't justify the expense for the payoff, when the Xbox handled most of my needs. But it's old and may give up the ghost any day now.

But after searching through a bunch of these threads (thanks for ALL of the tutorials and help threads!), I stumbled upon the ATV1 solution listed above. It looks like it would be able to handle everything the Xbox does now, plus most 1080p content when I upgrade, and even some web browsing/streaming with Ubuntu. And when I decide to upgrade the whole shebang with a 1080p projector/newer AV receiver/custom HTPC, I can move it into the bedroom.

So far, the only downsides I see are - no optical drive (DVD drive in the Xbox has been dead for over a year, so no loss there), loss of wifi (Xbox is plugged into an ethernet switch), and limited remote (admittedly a concern).

Anything else I should be aware of? Personal experiences?

I love my ATV1 (wiki) + BCHD (wiki) + Crystalbuntu (wiki) and it is my most used HTPC. The only downside really is the same as any other low-power HTPC that relies on hardware decoding, in that there can be newer formats or oddly encoded files that can't be hardware decoded and need CPU decoding. Also, it's getting harder as years go on to find ATV1s in good condition. Other than that, it's great.

Also, you can add an external USB DVD drive and play DVD movies off of that :D

USB via wifi is also possible, but a PITA right now to set up. However, it should be easier once Crystalbuntu 2 comes out sometime later this year.
You can also edit the remote.conf (or whatever it's called) to get universal remotes or MCE remotes working giving you full range of control.
I must chime in as well

I love my ATV1 + BCHD + Crystalbuntu as well all my extended family, friends and nioeghbors loves there's as well.

You are correct the Silver 1st generation units are getting harder and harder to source, luckily E-Bay still has quantities available in the 40gb or the 160gb version and for a reasonable price most often
Thanks for the feedback guys! I actually pulled the trigger and grabbed an atv from ebay and a crystal card, and am running Crystalbuntu from a flash drive. The menus are lagging a bit (even on light skins) and frustrating the wife. Would a hard drive install help with that?
(Ironically, the seller on ebay didn't reset their atv so we have access to their movies/tv shows and music when using the native OS).
A hard drive install would help with that, most likely. My two ATV1's run very smoothly in Confluence (default skin) and most others. I don't think I've tried any of the Aeon skins on it, though.

There's even ways to dual boot it on the internal install if you want to keep the native ATV OS, but I personally haven't done it before.
Thanks. I'll have to investigate the dual boot.

Downsides to ATV1 + Crystalbuntu + BCM70015?00