User Interface

The LCD:
I have begun some evaluation of LCD panels for the front panel display.  I am currently focussing on two line text based panels as I would like to keep the cost down (opposed to a graphics panel) and keep the display physically small enough to fit on the front panel.  I'm also opting toward a panel that is compatible with the HD44780 as I have existing libraries to drive that chipset.  I just purchased and received a 16x2 character display and an 40x2 display.  I've done a little work with each but have made no decisions at this time.  It will probably come down to what I can make fit better on the front panel. I got the 16x2 from and the 40x2 on ebay from a place in china
I just came across this mini oled display.  I temped to pick up a couple as they would probably work really well above the rotary encoders (they are about an inch).  From what I read they look really nice and support graphics also.
The Rotaries: 
Currently I am using a Panasonic mechanical rotary encoder with detents for the input knobs.  I have written some native code for the Fez II Panda that is working well to decode the the rotaries.  I may not need to do this in native code but it seemed like I wasn't getting fast enough event notification of I/O changes in the managed code so I moved it down and installed a native interrupt handler.  It is definately more responsive now.  I'll probably revisit this down the road once I'm further along with some of the other work.
The front Panel:
I have not yet started on the front panel redesign but my plan is to create a new panel from scratch.  I will probably use 1/8" aluminum.  A few months ago, I and a couple friends built a 2'x3' CNC router that I will use to cut/machine the aluminum face plate.  I'd like to go with a 40x2 LCD display with the rotary dials underneath to make a menu system but I'm not sure if I can get the rotaries and the display to fit on a one rack space panel.  I'll have to try and be creative on that.