Well, attempted to mod the T1i by removing the IR cut filter. Got into the point of removing the sensor plate, only to discover some special torque screws (for which I have nothing to get them out). Put it back together, apparently a little too quickly, only to discover that it will no longer take a picture - "temperature too high." Great. Something is shorted...could be one of a hundred contacts that were involved in various ribbon cables or even the aluminum shield plate.
When I have more time, and patience, I'll look into trying to bring it back. For now, I've decided to continue the DSLR path and when convenient, pay someone to do the mod. A new Rebel XSi has arrived, a couple hundred cheaper than the T1i, lighter and less noise (see previous post).