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Grouped Products vs Bundled Products, need features of both and some removed UGH!

Grouped Products vs Bundled Products, need features of both and some removed UGH!

SO, the best way for me to outline this is to explain the DESIRED behavior and hope someone has a suggestion


We manufacture and sell guitar and bass strings, we have 200+ simple products (single guitar and bass stinrgs) and over 2,000 "sets" of strings for different styles and types of instruments.  


We are currently using bundled products - this is due to the fact that we want a set of strings (up to 12) to show up as a single item for shiping purposes. The problem lies in the fact that people can "uncheck" one of the items - like remove the high E string from a set - and we package by SKU so even if someone removes the string we still send it to them 


We tested group products, but quantity can still be changed to "0" and on top of that each of the grouped products shows up as an individual shippable item - this is bad for us - becuase it turns a 4 string bass guitar set into 4 items - this kills our EU customers on shipping...


so the goal would be to have a product, that has sub products that CANNOT BE ALTERED IN ANY WAY

then the "set" of strings would show up as a single item vs 4 items in the shopping cart.


Any thoughts on how to achive this functinality? i have seen css hacks that take bundled products and hide the check boxes, and that could work for us - but i thought i would dig deeper to see if there was just a better way to handle the products


also note - all indivudla strings need to be available as purchaseable products as well - so i cannot change the visibility of the indivual simple products


thanks in advance