I came to this thread because I turned out to have the same bricked 2511 problem as many others in this thread. Out of frustration, I opened up the player and discovered that the actual drive is a SATA drive. I removed it and connected it to my HTPC and it spins right up. It identifies itself as a SUNEXT V8204 (number is from memory, will double check later). I'm a Linux user, but I fired up my Windows 7 VM and using AnyDVD HD, I am able to play and rip all my Bluray discs on my HTPC using the drive out of the 2511.
There are a couple limitations, though. First, the Sunext drive is about 1/4" too wide to fit into a standard 5-1/4" drive bay, meaning it it currecntly hanging out the side of my case until I fab up some better cabling. Second, there is no eject button, meaning you have to rely on OS commands to eject the tray. Third, there is no built-in LED so you have to go without a visual read indicator.
But all this got me thinking about what else might be possible. Sunext is now owned by Broadcom, so it might be possible to obtain flash firmware updates for this hardware. In fact, the "Disc A" firmware update from Memorex includes an sh script which seems to do the work. I have glanced over it quickly but I'm not sure I am qualified to determine whether it would be possible to use it to update firmware in a non-OEM environment.
I also started wondering what other components inside the 2511 might be usable on an HTPC. The first thing I thought of was the VFD. I haven't removed it yet to check on the chipset, but from initial inspection, it looks like it's a serial connection to the mobo. If anyone's interested, I can post pics. I'd like to see who else is interested in gutting a 2511 and playing with the pieces. Maybe we can put these paperweights to good use!