Dead laptop disk == more linux hacking
Update2: moved code to http://bitbucket.org/wez/toshkey/overview/
Update acpid now handles the brightness controls, displays the battery status in the ps list and emits power warnings once you're down to 15 minutes of power. I've also added a little non-root acpid client that will allow you to run your own stuff in response to hotkey events.
I suffered a dead (nearly; it's on its way out) laptop disk almost a week ago, and have been clawing my way back to normality.
As a side effect, I now own a Toshiba Satellite M30, which apparently has slightly more linux friendly hardware than my other Satellite (the one that's having issues).
One of the cool things is the toshiba_acpi module; it works in this model and allows access to the hotkeys so you can map them exactly as you like. Since running a standalone daemon for this sucks (you can choose either a python script or a slightly-overweight fnfxd), and since there was a feature request on the ToshibaAcpiDriver page for it, I've written this patch that adds toshiba key support to acpid (1.0.3).
Toshiba keys are exposed as button/toshiba events, followed by the 16-bit hex code for the key that was triggered, so stick some scripting magic into /etc/acpi/events and you're happily-a-mapping those keys.