If you have not read: #SL Mesh Deformer Debate Update now would be a good time.
We have an estimate for the cost of getting the computer code written for a Multiple Base Shape Deformer. We have some of the money pledges and only need to raise less than US$1,000. Our problem is convincing the Lindens it is needed and wanted.
There is some discussion ongoing in several places. But, check out SLUniverse where I wrote: