Sites such as http://www.jingobid.com/ swoopo.com and mad bid have been doing this for ages in the form of non-refundable 'bids' which are the current used for participating in the auctions. Fat chance getting that kind of a patent through. The unified currency makes it easier to accept multiple currencies at a fair rate.
For many of these wine actually works quite well out of the box - I find that for most games I don't have any trouble running them in wine. Steam works well too. Nevertheless, I appreciate that not having to fiddle and just be able to play what you've bought. That's why I own a ps3... Oh, and Ubuntu is an awesome desktop environment. Run it on a few machines which are used for work.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JCSP - CSP for Java, why write your own, probably incorrect abstraction when good libraries for this already exist?
See also: http://projects.cs.kent.ac.uk/projects/tock/trac/ - tock occam compiler, written in Haskell. It produces really fast code that supports large SMP systems, written by members of the KrOC group.
I know for a fact that artists with litte or no programming experience have been able to pick occam up on the arduino or RCX. Its challenging when you have to write assembly, not when you have a library designed for that microcontroller and all you need to do is write 5-10 lines of code to start doing 'cool stuff'.
Actually - you can run occam on Lego as well http://transterpreter.org/platforms/rcx/ A port for the NXT is underway. (I was one of the developers of the transterpreter virtual machine which occam runs on when used embedded)