No, I still haven't found a solution. I do want to use the merge module; anything else probably isn't going to work.
Da...ng Didn't you prepare a new MSI installer for 3.0a2 that includes the VS Redist MSM for X86? I vaguely remember that you've replaced my installer with a new one.
Right. I produced a package that ships the CRT, but not by using the merge module. Instead, I arranged to include sufficient copies of the manifest file to make it work in the non-admin installation (and yes, you do need to install multiple copies of it - just see the 3.0a2 MSI file).
The issue should be resolved before Python 2.6 and 3.0 are reaching beta stage. Maybe we can get some help from outside?
Perhaps. I'm confident that I can find a solution when I get the time; I'm not so confident that I can find the time, though. Of course, I would prefer if the outside help would propose something better than "switch to this completely different technology; it may work" (unless a complete working solution is presented in that other technology, and as long as that other technology still creates MSI files with free-as-in-beer tools).
In any case, contributions are welcome.