My client runs camps which require a minimum $50 deposit. Campers send one or more additional payments until their registration is paid in full. Since CiviEvent doesn't support self-service for partial payments, we're considering not charging on the event registration page (set Pay Later and hide it), then redirecting the registrant to a contribution page after confirmation. A back office user will then apply that contribution to the pending registration.
I've tried editing registrations and contributions, but can't find a way to link them up after the fact from either direction.