Although I am sure others have done so as well, I emailed Nintendo to see if they would provide us with pinout information. No such luck.
Thank you for taking the time to email Nintendo of America. While we would like to be able to assist you, we are not able to provide you with the information you are requesting.
So, I asked who I would have to contact that would be able/allowed to, to which they responded:
While I can appreciate your interest in doing this, Nintendo does not endorse or encourage any system modifications. The information that you're requesting is not information that Nintendo will provide.
Nintendo of America Inc.
So, basically, there is absolutely no way they are going to be helping us with the dilemma.
On a more positive note, I also emailed a few DVD drive companies. Two responded telling me wrong department and who to contact instead, which I still have to do. The third, though, is willing to give out the pinout information I requested, both for the IDE portion and the laser portion. I am still waiting for my drive to arrive in the mail so I can give them the S/N, but there is a glimmer of hope, perhaps