Whatever happened, I took this as a sign that I should build up the BPv4 board that I got from a twitter drawing a few months back.
So I ordered the extra parts I needed from Mouser, combined it with the eBay reels that I already had, and built up the board.
I used the cheap Abracon crystal that has a 4-land package. It just barely fits the "Seeed SMD crystal" footprint. (see the linked image).
Overall, I'd have to give major kudos to whoever did the layout (Ian?) for great spacing and large pads that make hand soldering a breeze.
I then tried to get code loaded on. I'm running a pure linux box, and have MPLABX v1.00a installed. I grabbed the SVN, opened up the Bus Pirate bootloader for BPv4, changed the project to use my PicKit3, fixed the error of trying to include <p24fxxxx.h> instead of <p24Fxxxx.h> (silly case insensitive windows guys). But then I get
/opt/microchip/mplabc30/v3.30c/bin/bin/pic30-elf-bin2hex: dist/default/production/firmware-v1.production.elf is not a valid object file.
make: *** [dist/default/production/firmware-v1.production.hex] Error 255
After searching around, it seems that this is a known problem with no real workaround.
So, my question for all of you: is there any way for me to get a bootloader on here without having to find a Windows box with MPLAB v8?