basically you want a grid with filters in a popup modal windows.
You can proceed as follows:
1) implement a modal window with jquery UI Dialog. see here: http://jqueryui.com/demos/dialog/
2) put the div that will generate the dialog out of the begin.form because you will put into it an Ajax.form
3) put another div in the div used to define the dialog and populate it with an Action helper that will take the content from an action method
4) the conten of your inner div will be an Ajax.Form containing your filters and the grid
5) connect your modal window opening to the button near your initial textbox
Now each time you do an operation on the grid such as reordering, filtering or whatever than you submit the ajax form that will cause an ajax update. If you need a display only grid with no filed editing I advice using the sorting list here: http://mvccontrolstoolkit.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=SortableListFor with
mouse reordering disabled.
It is a good grid and you can add also header template and footer template. in the header template you can place the filter plus the column names. Then you can add a pager: http://mvccontrolstoolkit.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Pager and
a column sorting enabler if you need it: http://mvccontrolstoolkit.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=EnableSortingFor%20Helper
You can turn all this into a reusable component by defining a partial view or by using
theming, and defining a themeable sortable list with all you need.
About filering....you have several options: DataFilter Helper to specify dynamically filtering criteria , DataFilterClauseFor
& FilterClauseSelect or snormal textboxes that you handle manually in the controller.
The basic idea of the Mvc Controls Toolkit is to furnish powerfull "parts" that you can easily assemble in custom controls. SO you can define your
themes containing set of custom controls that are specific of your application type, or simply partial views or razor helpers if yiu don't need to define a whole theme.
I am drawing agreements with companies for the productions of low cost theme packages where you can find already implemented beautifull themes in open format so you can customize them. At moment I don't know the exact timing of this operation but I think
in a couple of months the first themes package should be available.