Quite a few commenters mentioned that Chrome OS has a touchpad experience they consider much better than Linux. I was encouraged to discover that the Chrome OS touchpad driver is open source and licensed permissively. So far so good.
The challenge began when I attempted to actually use the driver. There are no effective instructions on getting the driver confirmed functional. I emailed the most recent maintainers (GalliumOS) and haven't heard back. If we could get this driver functional, I still have no idea how we would configure it.
However. It’s still one of the more promising avenues available. There are a lot of commenters with more Linux chops than I. If one of them could get the Chrome OS driver functional on Linux (and confirm they’ve done so... not an easy task unto itself), that would be a great starting point to evaluate our most promising prior art. If this project succeeds in nothing else, creating the means for Linux users to draft off the work of Google feels like a great modicum of definite progress.