Matt: thank you for the reference! I will surely get in touch with Tony to explore the area of collaboration!
Steve: I'll most appreciate your help! Let me try to put the idea into a drawing to seek your opinion on the feasibility of the approach! I'll PM you as soon as I'm done with a simple drawing. (I could have make the drawing faster if I had paid more attention in the CAD classes!!) I will most definitely need help with the finer points of electronics and mechanical design. Collaboration is a lot easier when profit making is out of the way. My main wish is to help build a platform that will allow film shooters to continue to enjoy the craft. Hopefully that will play a small part to help keep the analog photography art alive.
Mustafa: Thanks for the tip! I frequently make purchases from the US, and I know that shipping via the normal channels are a lot more expensive than they need to be. I've wondered if there's a way to commoditize shipping via order collation on the internet. But that's a topic for another day :-) If you know anyone that I can speak to, I would definitely appreciate a recommendation.
Though I still do keep a look out for a good value CPE/CPP/CPA set, I have slight reservation on the value-for-money part of the system (especially the shipping part), and the 'incompleteness' of the approach. Since both C41 and E6 are standardized processes with tight tolerances, they should really be automated, fully, at a affordable price. So I guess I am really hoping for a $3-500 Super SideKick. Poverty drives ingenuity - can't blame me for dreaming!