Here I am, in London (as I post this; I'll be in St. Neots by the time it gets posted). My Mac was DOA. I met Bruce Badger, Giovanni Corriga, Peter Monroe, and Steve Wart near Paddington at 10:30, and told them that I had to head to the Apple Store on Regents street to see if there was anything that could be done.
Mind you, my expectations were low; not only am I not at home, I'm not even in my home country. I get to the Genius Bar, and they ask me whether I have an appointment - no, of course - I only just got here. The store is packed, and the board displaying the queue of customers to be helped is long. The guy agrees to look for a few basic problems, but if it's the display, it will likely be days.
So I wait. A bit later he comes back, and says it's not the display, not the memory, it's probably a board - and that will be 3-5 days. At this point I'm in anguish - I'm doing a tutorial tomorrow, and I need this machine. He gets the next guy up the food chain, and he agrees to have a look. My guess is, the purpose of that first speech is to weed out people who aren't utterly desperate :)
I wait another few minutes, and the second guy comes back with paperwork. I fill in Bruce's phone, since that's the only way to reach me during the afternoon, and he tells me it should be fixed before 6. Ecstatic with this news, I head to the pub.
One lunch, a few wines, and a coffee later (not to mention the great convesation!), the phone rings - my Mac is alive! We walk back to the store, present my copy of the paperwork, and bam - there's my Mac, good as new.
Oh, and I need to thank Bruce Badger - he was a huge help all day while I got the Mac sorted out, and helped carry my very heavy bags around - Thanks Bruce!
Oh, the relief. Now, step back and consider: with any other machine, if you were outside your home country and something went wrong, what are the odds you would get a fix within hours for no charge (yes, I have Apple Care)? I can tell you this - I'm completely sold. The next system I buy for any kind of home use will be a Mac.