Forum OpenACS Development: Response to Portals roadmap proposal
Ian's implementation contains at least some of Michael's requested features. The APM should do a nice job of making it possible to share locally implemented portlets with other sites. There's a lot of flexibility for providing different layouts for portal pages, and I think this is new. The ability to create a "mockup" page containing static html is there.
The ACS4 version is more flexible with respect to where and how the portal pages are organized. You mount the portal package on a site node using the site map, and that constitutes a new portal page. The cms package I proposed works the same way: you mount it on a site node and then you can add articles to that node. So integrating the two packages would not be difficult.
You can download Ian's documentation for the 4.x portal package here.
Disclaimer: I have not built a site that uses any version of portals, and would enjoy hearing from anyone who has had that experience.