So I spent some money on some controllers. The gyration is still the sexiest way I have to navigate... but there is a contender.
It is about the length of a US dollar. It is the Logitech DiNovo Mini.
The round pad is a mouse or directional key depending on either a switch or using the function button. In 710, the mouse did not function natively, but after some modprobing I was able to get that working successfully. It operates like a touch pad, and is not nearly as fluid as the gyration... but functional. Moreover, when you adjusted the mouse acceleration in KDE it was reflected in LinuxMCE... this is no longer the case. Curious if anyone had any pointers (no pun intended) on mouse acceleration in LinuxMCE. Currently it takes about three full swipes to move from one end to the other at 1024x768.http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Logitech_Dinovo_Mini