Well I've pushed another patch mharris' way (one typo has caused so much pain...) so things looking good. Unfortunately my laptop has decided that it really didn't like my last up2date -fu and is segfaulting at such commands as /bin/ls. Seeing as rpm and python are b0rked too I'm going to reinstall rawhide later today. This will delay the synaptics rpm itself as I can't run rpmbuild on laptop atm.
The ppc kernel is looking good, compiled, linked and runs. Need to do config tweaking now and then push to davej. Evil hacky implementation of page_is_array for ppc32 (it just returns 1 atm), but this is apparently what is in ppc64 RHEL branch for time being - so it's not just me ;)
Oh and people feel free to certify me on advogato pnasrat