Kicking myself: Didn't continue the extended warranty. It expired 9/15/06.
Good luck: Best Buy having a sale on laptops. I got a brand-new one with twice the RAM of the old one and a slightly bigger hard drive for $350. The old one cost $1000 two years ago. (Yes, there are much better laptops out there, but I don't honestly need them. I don't play video games or use applications that require the best and fastest.)
Patting myself on the back: I backed up all my documents fairly recently (July/August) so I won't lose too much. And I make a habit of burning all my downloaded programs (like Norton Antivirus) to disk, so I still have those.