LWN pointed me to this mail from Fedoraproject inviting other distrubtion to participate in the Smolt project. Smolt is used to gather hardware data from Linux systems and makes it available for browsing.
They currently have data from approx. 80000 systems, mostly x86, which hopefully will grow in the future.
The device and system statistics are quite interesting to browse. Besides hardware, smolt also tracks the system language, kernel version, swap size etc. It also tries to make an educated guess on desktop vs. server vs. laptop - typically a blurred area for Linux systems.
Once they offer an online API for direct access to the smolt server database, this really will be quite useful.