The issues have been so painful I've gone semi-permanently to 32 bit Ubuntu 11.04 (Which makes me sad -- 1/2 the bits
). Things work much better there. With the previously described option in my xorg.conf, I can adjust the brightness without issue. Unsuspend has been working flawlessly. Based on how much better things are now, I would strongly warn Quadro 1000M owners (or at least ThinkPad W520 owners) away from nVidia's 64 bit binary driver (see versions in my previous post) until a fix emerges. If you need to use the binary driver, go w/ 32 bit Linux.
I should note that before moving my stuff over to a 32 bit installation, I did try disabling the power settings option to dim the screen on battery power, which helped only slightly. Crashes were still far too frequent to bear. I also updated my W520's BIOS to v 1.25 (according to the website, although the BIOS itself reports 1.24) which didn't seem to help at all either.