Microsoft: As part of our standard and ongoing process of analyzing repair data, we recently noticed a higher than usual number of units coming in for repair. Upon further investigation, it was further discovered that the bulk of the units were isolated to a group that was part of the initial manufacturing run of the console. Returns for repair are coming in for a variety reasons and it’s a higher rate than we are satisfied with. We’ve made the decision to comp repairs for consoles manufactured before January 1, 2006, and provide refunds to the small group of customers who have already paid for repairs.
So for the unlucky like me, we are now in luck. :) Microsoft has done what it should have done from the start. Refund checks will be in the mail in 5 to 8 weeks. For those who have not had issues. I highly recommend you call Microsoft and purchase a 2 year service contract. It is like $50. They do not advertise it anywhere as far as I can tell, so call up and ask for one, and if you are lucky, your console will still be under the starting warranty, so you can extend it.