I just received a response from laptopexperts.net, interesting to say the least especially the part about the Asus EEE. Looks like I am not alone. Here is a paste of it....
I found your post on the Linux Mint forums–evidently you submitted a question some time ago, but I literally received it just this evening. I apologize for any delay.
I ran this past Ryan at Ars Technica, as he’s the person who handles all aspects of our Linux/OSS coverage. He and I agree—the only way this could be a software bug is if there’s a bug in the distro’s power management software. Ryan says this is possible—apparently his Asus EEE has a similar problem. A laptop that’s gone into deep sleep or hibernation is physically indistinguishable from a laptop that’s been shut off; the only way to tell the difference would be if an LED remains on or blinking, and that’s obviously not occurring.
It looks like this is what’s occurring. You write: “If I pull the battery pack out after being fully charged & put it back in the next day or even a few days later it stays full or at least upper-mid 90% range.”
This is what I’d expect, given our hypothesis. If the laptop *isn’t* shutting down all the way, pulling the battery out while it’s disconnected from AC power would complete the shutdown process. Put the battery back in, at that point, and the laptop is off–no drain occurs.
As for what your options are, I think you have several. You can try talking to whoever manages the Mint Elyssa distro—I have no idea what your chances are of establishing a solid line of communication, proving the bug, or even getting them to look for it are, but it’s worth a shot. Alternatively, you can try a different Linux distro, and see if they work properly. The bug, however its occurring, is probably within how the OS communicates power states to the CPU.
If you can’t establish a dialog or find an alternative distro, you still have the option of using Windows XP. If you aren’t willing to do that, or don’t want to pay for an old OS, then yes, I’d say you’re back to using Vista."
I appreciate their response, though long in coming I'm very grateful. I had already given up on a response so this was welcome news indeed.
Since Ryan @ Ars Technica has experienced this with the EEE it brings me to wonder (or assume) if his EEE is still running the default Xandros that ships with the unit or another distro, which kernel is being ran etc. My install of Elyssa is very stock, default 2.6.24 kernel with no mods. I have only added a couple of programs (like banshee, gftp) since install.
I am very pleased with Mint, but may try dualbooting a different distro to see if battery drainage is handled differently upon shutdown. I guess the question of the day would be which distro/kernel etc to try? I suspect since Elyssa has the 8.04 core with Mint extras I might need to try non-buntu distros to avoid redundancy, such as Debian, Fedora, PClos etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated.