Interesting — while I certainly had a good experience with my iPod replacement over the weekend, it turns out that the iPod warranty would have allowed Apple to charge me $30 to get me back in business, ostensibly for “shipping and handling.” (Note that the Genius didn’t attempt to charge me, nor did he attempt to charge any of the other people who replaced their iPods while I was in the store.) I agree with the person who mailed the info into Macintouch — the notion of a warranty that adds some sort of service charge halfway through the warranty term feels dirty, and certainly makes the warranty a lot less valuable.
Also, the charge means that adding an extended warranty to your iPod isn’t $59, it’s actually a minimum of $89 — you have to pay the $59, and then each time you need to send your iPod in for service, you’ll have to pay another $30. Bleah.
(By the way, is this the right place to beg Macintouch’s Ric Ford to create permanent links to entries of his? The link above will only work until the item leaves the front page of Macintouch; then, I’ll have to dig through his search engine and archives to find a link that might continue to work.)