While reading though the incoming RSS today I came across Liberlab via this post at Hack247. Liberlab is another movement like the Arduino. The project is open source and has the following stated goal.
"The Open Source project Liberlab aims to help democratize educational scientific experimentation through the creation and use of a DIY digital lab at a very low price ( ~ 15 €/$). Liberlab can also be used to learn about robotics, automation, human-machine interface or interactive arts."
I believe it boils down to firmware for an ATMega8 and software applications that work with this firmware for inexpensive data acquisition and control. It looks like a great project to support. If you have experience with Liberlab let us know about it with a comment.