In addition to finding their products at substantial reductions at other gear sites, Patagonia's website has a "web specials" page that's updated pretty often. Great discounts can be found there, although some of items go pretty quickly. A short time ago, when I responded to a pop-up survey for customer satisfaction at Patagonia's website, they were the beneficiaries of my gripes about how their "web specials" too often end up with only one or two sizes left (usually XS and S). One recent item w/good price reduction was a Specter (sp?) anorak, but wrong size.
Don't know how (or to whom) you presented your desire for a zip puff with Patagonia, but I'd like to believe that a little further inquiry would get a satisfactory response. It seems that they frequently modify their products, and so evidently have an on-going interest in new ideas.
PS - If you have an interest in obtaining a very highly praised steelhead fishing jacket, Patagonia's SST jacket can currently be had for a pretty good discount at some websites ($229 vs $315, men's & women's versions),perhaps also at Patagonia's "specials" page.