After formatting the HDD to a single HFS+ Journaled partition and installing a clean 10.7 System on the machine, I ran the Boot Camp Assistant, created the CD with drivers and partitioned the disk. I then put the Windows7 DVD+R in the machine which I had created on another Windows machine by using the Microsoft USB/DVD/Download Tool to burn our site license image to a disc.
After partitioning, the machine restarts, but just shows the text "No bootable device -- Insert boot disk". Then, nothing more happens. When I shut the machine down and reboot it while holding option down, I see that the DVD appears twice in the list of bootable devices - once as "Windows" and once as "EFI Boot". Both do lead to the same error if selected for booting. The installation disk itself works perfectly in "normal PC". I nevertheless burned another one, it doesn't work either. I then used the Microsoft Tool to create a bootable USB stick. But this neither shows up in the Startup Disk preference nor when holding option during startup.
I had an older Windows XP disc lying around which I then tried on this machine. It installed without flaw. However, the Lion Boot Camp drivers do not support XP anymore and anyway I need to install Win 7 on the machine.
This all leaves me to these conclusions: Boot Camp Assistant worked and has created a usable partition (see XP install). The installation discs for Win 7 are also correctly set up (they boot on a PC) and work. Booting Windows 7 from a USB device apparently is unsupported on my machine.
Which leaves me clueless. All parts on their own seem to work. Any idea why they don't work together?