I filled the Norco case with hardware. It is now up and running, based on Debian Linux (Lenny).
I immediately performed some initial tests with software RAID 0. The results are just astounding.
debian:~# dd if=/dev/md0 of=/dev/null bs=1M count=50000
50000+0 records in
50000+0 records out
52428800000 bytes (52 GB) copied, 50.9222 s, 1.0 GB/s
This is correct. 1 Gigabyte per second using 10 Samsung Spinpoint F1's connected to the motherboard (4) and to the Highpoint Rocketraid 2340 (6).