I've gotten the final go-ahead from both my work and the Birmingham team, so the trip is now confirmed.
The next tricky step is to find a way to get at least one of the legs on an A380 without blowing out the ticket price. Fortunately, with Sydney being such a long way from everywhere, and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Airport already upgraded to handle it, Sydney is a focal point for A380 flights. Singapore, Qantas and Emirates are all now flying the A380 from Sydney to various other hubs, so my chances should be reasonable.
Doing Emirates via Dubai is looking like an interesting choice, if I can find the time to leave the airport to visit the Burj Dubai construction side for some quality "Engineer Porn" time. Then again, with the Burj Dubai not scheduled to be completed until the end of the year it's debatable how close I'd be able to get...
Plus, since I like flying but increasingly hate airports (unless I'm in total "walking the earth" mode like my Portable Perl tour last year) it looks like the Dubai route is the only way I can do Sydney to Birmingham with only a single flight change.