thanks a lot for all the information. One correction: USB on-the-go (OTG) means that the port can operate as a device (as usual) *and* as limited power (some 100+ instead of 500 mA) usb host. Thus irex claim that the mini usb is liimited to device mode seems imprecise at best, except if they messd with the cables inside, e.g. to power the battery directly without connecting via the cpu (no idea if the cpu also charges the battery, or needs to be circumvented to do a usb charge).
The otg host mode can be software switched, as on the Nokia N8x0 series. The power is enough for thumb drives and most keyboards, everything else needs to run over a powered external usb hub. For most purposes of the DR1000, the otg would be enough, and it can do without soldering and new plugs.
In either case, the challenge is the software, as modprobing the shipped usb host driver crashes the machine. It only makes sense to solder plugs if the respective kernel can at least be loaded without trouble.
Does anyone of you have a running developer kit to do the compilation?