Well, yes, in some ways it may be easier to swap out the LCD panel for one from a standalone monitor. But, the point of this is to make good use of the perfectly functioning LCD in the iMac G4I'm not an Mac expert so please forgive me!
Wouldn't it be easier/cheaper to buy an inexpensive LCD monitor from NewEgg or TigerDirect, then remove the LCD panel from the monitor along with any electronics? Swap out the iMac display and components and connect the new VGA/DVI (?) cable the Mac mini you've hidden inside of the iMac base or connect it to an external Mac. Wouldn't this be quicker/easier to do than risk getting the pin out wrong on a hack of the original components and frying something?
Personally, I'd disagree on this point. At least on the 20" models, the resolution is 1680x1050, which is still quite high (my 21.6" Samsung is the same resolution) and the panel is an S-IPS panel, which is VASTLY better quality than the TN panels in most of the cheap monitors available these days.Also the LCD spec's are not great and the resolution is a tiny bit on the low side on the iMac. A new inexpensive LCD monitor can easily better it.
What I would do, is fill in the tray and cut a slot for the slot loading Mac Mini dvd drive and use that. At least, that's what I plan to doI have a 20" iMac and a hacked Mac mini with a 2.33 GHz Core2Duo Processor so I would like to blend the two eventually. I must say I'm not sweating the LCD hack but I am stumped on making a DVD w/tray work with the mini when its shoehorned into its new home. How will they fit? How will they connect? How will they work together?
I think the LCD hack will be (relatively) easy. Its the DVD that will be hard. NO?
Check out my Mac mini hack: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billibusa/
MisterDNA, good luck with the surgery and I certainly hope you feel better.