On Opera, you send it into "full screen mode" via F11... or the menus.
Yes, it's what you'd expect... no menubar or button bar. Opera is quite usable without the buttons due to its excellent gestural support (right click and flick to the left to go back, to the right to go forward, etc.)
And CTRL-TAB cycles through windows in MDI mode (and there is some gesture, too, but I can't remember it).
I also love how Google-friendly Opera is. Type "g something to search for" into the location bar and it runs a query. Excellent.
I'm a web developer, and as far as I can see, Opera's only flaw is that it doesn't support some very basic DHTML features, but otherwise it's my favorite browser.
I expect to try and map the goofy keys at the top of the keyboard to common opera tasks, so I can do away with all of the chrome on the window, and really have a "kiosk".
Regarding the permissions question, I'm not sure, but I expect that the browser-based config can be restricted to specific unix accounts, right? I don't think that the browser config has anything to do with it.
Your build tools sound EXCELLENT. I've been waiting for someone more handy than I to put something like that together!
Thanks, I'm looking forward to it.