Happy New Year Everyone:
I think it was made pretty clear in the last incarnation of this discussion that the real difficulty is not in the build, but in the delivery.
VK4TEC has a good idea/concept: A simpler trasceiver. I agree. It goes along in spirit with the fact that Oscar 1 was built for $26 in 1961 (ARRL; "The Radio Amateur's Satellite Handbook, Page 1-6). But now imagine today...with a $26 satellite...paying n-thousands of dollars to launch it.
Perhaps a venue that might be exploited if it hasn't already, is asking NASA if it is possible to bring one up with them when a Shuttle goes to the ISS. The problem that I see with that is that the orbit is WAY TOO LOW for that bird to be practical for very long. Think ANDE-1...or the upcoming Delfi-3 which is another temporary satellite.
Anyway...what if partnerships with any of the Military Academies...or Universities with programs similar to this (such as Kentucky State's KySat Project) could be worked out? AMSAT ideas or concepts and build team partnerships with students, etc...but with a chance for greater funding available for a potential launch?
Food for thought....