I had a 2.5GHz PowerMac G5 from 2004, the one they introduced when they couldn't reach the 3GHz Steve Jobs had promised to have by then. As a result of desperately trying to ramp up the clock speed they ended up used a custom-designed liquid cooling system to get the thing to be stable. I had a feeling the day we bought the machine that the cooling system would crap out sooner rather than later and bought the $300 AppleCare 3-year warranty extension thinking it would pay for itself.
Fast forward 5 years. This June I noticed a small green puddle underneath the tower and realized exactly what I had feared had happened 6 months out of warranty. Opening the case I realized the logic board, processors, power supply and cooling system were all coated in coolant and had started to rust away. Looking it up on the net I found forums where people claimed they had managed to get Apple to fix their machines for free out of warranty after some negotiation on the phone. I decided to book a Genius bar appointment and see where I could get. I put the tower on a really squeaky push cart and rolled it all the way through the shiny Apple store to the Genius bar at the back where I then placed it on the counter and opened the side panel, bits of rust and coolant falling onto the pristine Genius bar in front of me. The Genius on hand didn't say much and took about 30 minutes to calculate that a repair would cost me over $2,000 and that it would probably be better worth my money to buy a new one. I then asked to speak to a manager, which the Genius reluctantly complied with. After a few minutes with the "Lead Genius" (I love that title) I pointed out that it was unreasonable that a single poorly designed part failing should pretty much destroy a $4000 computer only months out of warranty, I also pointed out that others online had managed to have Apple fix the machines for free. He agreed that it was unreasonable, and offered me a brand new quad-core Xeon Mac Pro as a free replacement. I eagerly agreed and walked out of the store with my new machine and my faith in Apple restored.
He who has but four and spends five has no need for a wallet.