Since I hate the Logitech keyboard I originally picked up for the PC and since I happened to be at Comex (a PC/Electronics exhibition) this weekend, I bought a new keyboard.
Along the top edge, this keyboard has a row of so called 'multimedia' keys. So I had occasion to use KHotkeys (Linux Magazine article in pdf) and I must say, it is a very powerful piece of software. Contrary to its name, you can not only set shortcut keys but also mouse gestures & voice commands. For those piping up about Opera & Co., keep in mind that this is a tool to setup these actions on a desktop-wide basis and not just for one application. The GUI could definitely use some reworking, though.
I've now got the music related buttons controlling Amarok (no longer amaroK!) via DCOP while the browser related buttons map to 'Alt+Left', etc. making them work in Firefox, Konqueror and any other app which uses the standard keybindings. I must say though that I fail to see why anyone would reach for those special browser buttons when alt-left, alt-right and F5 work perfectly well.
IIRC, the Lifehacker.com peeps wanted a text replacement tool. They should give KHotkeys a try!
Anyway, all of this will probably turn out to be a pointless exercise as I already hate the keyboard. I didn't realize I was this picky about keyboards. Thankfully these are desktop keyboards which are replaceable. It's a good thing I bought a Thinkpad; I absolutely love the keyboard and can't imagine how I would've felt had I bought some other $2000+ laptop only to find that the keyboard is unusable.
PS: This is the third blog post which started life as a mini entry before getting promoted by virtue of length.