I really hope the next version of the pi replaces the surface mount LED's with a pin header and jumpers (with the LED's in) so that they can easily be broken out and put into a case fascia.
In the mean time however, I have had a brain wave (well more of a ripple actually). I have tested it briefly and it kind of works.
The idea is to use fibre optic light guide to transmit the light from the LED to wherever it is require.
All I had on hand was my old Lego fibre optic cables which are plastic, not glass; aged, so maybe not as clear as they once would have been; and they have little "bubbles" in them so that the entire strand lights up rather than just the tip.
That said, by just touching the base of them to the LED's gets a result that would be noticeable in the dark - however having proper glass, unobstructed light guides securely attached (some how) would be much better.
All we need now is some form of holder that snaps into the mounting hole and over the edge of the pcb to clamp the light guide in place.
3m of light guide is available on ebay for a couple of quid. If I had access to a 3D printer I could probably knock something together.
But what I want to know is what you guys think? Has anyone else managed (without re-soldering) managed to successfully break out the status LED's?