I ordered a BUS cable for the original DS, removed and bridged the fuses and put it all back together in the broken case. The verdict is: it works! I admit that it isn't the best way to fix the DS, but its for personal usage and all together it probably cost me a total of $4!
The DS Lite is a bit more on the broken side, fixing the top screen isn't nearly as easy as it was on the original DS. But this may give me a chance to swap out the touch screen on my working black DS Lite, another outlet store find. But even so the touch screen in the black DS Lite would go right back into the white one because it still works, but it will only calibrate to about 90% correct.
In time if I feel that the original DS needs a case, and the thing is still working, I'll order one. Right now I'm not willing to invest the extra cash in a system not knowing if it will work tomorrow. But overall I'm pretty excited to have 2 fully functional, yet still beaten up, Nintendo DS handhelds.
Maybe someday I'll get all 3 new cases, completely new parts and get them back on their feet 100%. Right now I'm going to find an external hinge system for the original DS, because I prefer the way it holds GBA games, to keep the new BUS cable in tact and make it usable. But the boost in confidence that I can repair these things was indeed the best part of the project!