thank you for your consideration but please spare me the lectures on why this is insecure, i have heard it all and understand your point, but you are not in my situation. let's just focus on a solution.
i am mainly using gpg with thunderbird for encrypting/signing e-mail, via the enigmail plugin.
in windows xp i was able to use the gpg option '--passphrase-file <filename>' to define a file with the passphrase contained in it. this way, the passphrase was automatically read and i did not need to type it. now, in ubuntu, that option doesn't seem to have any effect, as i am asked for the passphrase.
now i understand i am using a more secure environment than windows xp, so this may be a little harder to get working. but, keep in mind that '--passphrase-file' is a valid option and should be able to work. however, maybe some other things need to be adjusted/configured, like gpg-agent or something to handle the passphrase instead....
please let me know.