So we installed SuSE 11.3 on the netbook and generally have things going right again. But the missing part still eludes us.
I've done a more generic search, resulting in a host of ebay.co.uk sites. They don't cite the part explictly but are obviously in the domain of reclaiming parts, so have emailed them with the particulars. We shall see. If no luck by tomorrow PM then it is time to cut bait and put it all back together. And if it still doesn't work, then order the part from California.