i had this made and it's way more comfortable than a normal desk: http://www.sh1fty.com/upload/3d-stol2-rend3.png
I like coding somewhere where I don't have anything I have to do except code. A hotel/motel with wifi is a great place because it has very little distractions (people, chores,...) and it's extremely confortable. Having a king size bed or a couch just for yourself and your laptop can help your concentration. Unfortunately, this costs money, so this isn't a good solution for everyday coding.
I've been running Zenwalk on my EEE 901 for months now and haven't had much trouble. I wouldn't suggest it for people who like everything working out of the box, since I had to install both wifi and eth drivers on my own, so you don't have any connectivity in the beginning. You should definitely try the OS you're considering on a virtual machine first, just to be sure that you like it. Also, whichever distro you choose, you'll have to do your homework first
why not use the users then? have them help each other
:) have tech support that can help you with basic stuff and have users answering each other's questions on the forums/chat. do you happen to know what are actual expenses for small ISPs these days? what kind of personnel, equipment and software do they need?