[quotemsg=11531830,0,1307771]Now if I could install Ubuntu, maybe Mint, and a different SSD on this... Haswell laptop for under $500!!![/quotemsg]
I can't speak for replacing the SSD (the Samsung series 3 chromebook has SSD soldered directly to the motherboard) but people have already installed Ubuntu on chromebooks.
Now, the catch is whenever you run a custom OS on a chromebook you'll face a warning screen on boot-up. If you press SPACE during this warning screen the chromebook will be reset to its default configuration and your custom OS install will be wiped. For that reason it's probably preferable to just run Linux off a SD card instead.