Not a mock-up but a really working durty hack on my laptop moodle 1.4.3:
Section zero shows now the items from left to right:
1. changing in course/xxx/format.php the call to function print_section into print_sectionZero
2. copy in course/lib.php the functionname print_section into print_sectionZero
3. replace the repeating < tr > < /tr > with one single < tr > < /tr > outside the loop
4. (removing the leading spaces and ) center the info
So if one of the codewalkers likes this idea: do it clean and good and make it a teacher choice in the course settings ?