I own a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid. At 130k+ is still doing fine with original equipment including the battery pack, less belts, tires, and brakes. It looks like the catalytic converter is headed downhill from the onboard computer but that will be my first major repair in November or so and apparently not unique to the hybrid they tend to go on Civics early.
I easily made up the difference years ago in no state sales tax and federal rebate. I feel no guilt there as my tax dollars have been subsidizing big oil for many years who in turn push their agenda through a mountain of shills and paid 'institutes'. My carbon output is thousands of pounds less per year then a comparable civic which is already low.
This car will become my weekender for long trips. With a regular reduced diet of long but gentle weekend highway drives the HCH should serve for some years to come.
The bulk of my 20 mile commutes will be done by the new car I am in line for in Dec 2010 - a Nissan Leaf. With it I'm looking at no trips to Midas, no cat converter, no fuel injectors, no spark plugs, etc.etc... Given that, the lithium ion replacement someday will not seem quite so bad. With a little luck like my laptop the replacement batteries will be much better then the originals.
BTW you'll help pay for that one with tax breaks too grin. Green is just getting started.
It's all about putting money behind the right choices - there is plenty of demand and this time (unlike the EV1) big oil is not going to be able to stop it.