About the target and architecture
The target I chose is a Technologic Systems TS-7800 (see Resources for more detail). This is a small embedded ARM system, with both built-in and removable flash storage, as well as a SATA controller. This tutorial walks you through configuring this system to boot to a login prompt, without relying on prebuilt binaries.
I chose the ARM architecture to make it a little easier to check whether a given binary is host or target, and to make it easy to see when host pollution might be occurring. It is also nice having a machine that consumes a total of about 5W of power and runs completely silently.