Is there anywhere to get just the center panel that holds the navigation and install it in a non-navi car and have use for that area and even store my own external navi in there (or even somehow mod it in)?
No. This has been discussed at length. Mazda won't sell the part, only the whole nav/screen setup which is over $2000.00. The closest thing you can do is go to www.japanparts.com and order a non motorized peice they sell. It will run you over $250.00 though for the plastic part only. No screen is included.
Yes, read the "Opinions on Navi" thread in this section. One of our members bit the bullet and bought the japanparts piece. It looks like it will work quite nicely. He is planning on doing a writeup/walkthrough soon.
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