Niche question re: Chromebooks

So I think I'm going to go pick up a chromebook today as my portable machine after heavily evaluating whether or not it fits my workflow

Since no news of a refresh came out of I/O I don't feel like waiting for the possibly ARM upgrade and the $250 price point is what's most appealing -- if it's the same price that's not much to replace and if the new refresh is any more I probably wouldn't be interested

What concerns me most right now is a lack of Skype (not for video calls really, mostly for chat purposes)

It's coming to at some point but right now there's no effective in-browser solution to get Skype's text chat on the go and I use it a lot.

Does anyone have any experience with whatever the dev mode equivalent on a chromebook is? It seems to me that since it's got a *nix underbelly you could pop a USB drive into the back and use that as storage to install Skype's linux beta and run it out of terminal? But I'm not familiar with the process of enabling that mode and wondering how much of a hassle it is to get into that. It'd be nice to have everything on one machine but if I have to use my iPad for a few months for skype it's probably not going to kill me.

Basically all I'm wondering is if anyone has tried installing straight linux apps and running them on ChromeOS and what the results were like.

Any response at all would be greatly appreciated!

For reference, this is the chromebook I'm getting as it's available for retail pick-up in Canada: