Very nice work marklar.Don't be surprised if you are asked to do some commercial implementations.
But I am always open to trying to find something brighter.
As far as getting brighter versions, there are versions that have 3 SMD LEDs per "pixel" .. the metal ones. Those are pretty bright as compared to the single pixel style .. but take a 12v power supply (not a big deal, just different).
The coolest RGB post I've seen!
I have a bunch of the 12v flexible strips ones (4 wire with 6803 chip) and they are quite bright and they don't have as much voltage drop as the 5v ones but you also have a few trade offs as the leds are in groups of 3 instead of each one by it's self but if you are more then a few feet away you can't tell the difference anyway