I got sick of applications reinventing portrait keyboards, and so dug around to find something that would work a bit more generically. I found that hildon-input-method had some example plugins, one of which provided a portrait-usable keyboard (pictured left). So, after the help of frals (and Stskeeps and yerga), we're on the road - now it's your turn to help us get a bit further.
It's still in a very early stage, and the stuff we're dealing with (hildon-input-method) is pretty scary ..not to mention that I'm not really the most experienced person in the world when it comes to raw Hildon/Gtk+, but I'm sure we can get there, with some help.
If you want to help out, come join us in the talk.maemo.org thread and wander over to Gitorious.