Replacement keys are available for the Optimus should any die, so a failed OLED display isn't quite the end of the world. Pity that their key response is reported to be subpar. Something like a 12-key macro extender would be pretty cool if they ever came out with that to supplement other, non-macroable keyboards.
I've been looking into a number of mechanical keyboards since these cheap dome membrane types hurt my hands, and there are a few options out there depending on what you're after. Das is probably the most similar to Deck in features insofar as being backlit and Cherry MX based. I want to say they use the browns, but double check that before you rely on my word.
- Unicomp bought the rights to IBM's buckling spring keyboards and makes a few variations. As I mentioned in another thread, no n-key rollover, and none are backlit. My biggest gripe about the Type M design is the spacebar guides are weak, and I have a few Type Ms with broken spacebars. I spoke with a rep at Unicomp and, unfortunately, they make them the exact same way. I seem to be one of the very few who has that problem with them though.
- Similarly, Creative Vision Technologies now makes what used to be Northgate Omnikey keyboards. These use the Alps style mechanical keyswitches. Personally, I never liked them since the click and actual character output weren't synchronized exactly--I can't remember anymore, but it was possible to either get a click without character generization or vice versa if you touched a key just barely too lightly. Either way, it happened often enough to annoy me. I haven't checked, but I suspect these also wouldn't have n-key.
- Filco is one of the really interesting ones to me right now. No backlight, so Deck beats them there, but they're available in linear, silent tactile, and clicky tactile, and they do have n-key rollover. There's a blank keycaps version a la Das if you want to be super 1337. They also have a really cool 87-key version which caught my eye--basically a completely standard 104-key version with the numpad cut off (and available separately). A nice, narrower keyboard without the weird layouts which always seem to happen with sub-104 boards.
- And while it might not be strictly mechanical, the new HHKB comes with a capacitance-based system which is supposed to be better than dome membrane. Pretty expensive though, and no idea what the key response is like. Their compact layout is typically odd, but super extra bonus of swappable L-CTRL and Capslocks keys.
I think that's all I've found so far. Firefox was kind enough to eat a bunch of my newer bookmarks recently so I may have forgotten a few. Right now Deck wins if you want backlighting, n-key, 30-day trial period, a company supported mod community, a choice of backlight colors, and the option of standard 104 or a somewhat strange sub-104 layout; their tactile option is rather weak right now, and their compact keyboard is, as I said, a bit weird. I'll leave it to someone else to compare build qualities on all these.
My dream keyboard right now? A tactile, (red, amber, and/or green) backlit 87-key with standard layout, a row of OLED programmable keys along the top, and the ability to swap L-CTRL and Capslock. Oh, and the Windows key stiff enough not to easily hit by accident, maybe recessed a bit too. Until that ideal of typing perfection exists, there's always this