(from Apr 21st, 2012 mail)
"Thank you for the fantastic website about this! It was so helpful. I read about the lawsuit this past week and after looking at the post on the Apple support page realized my laptop fit the date and model range. Then I found your page and was convinced what happened to my laptop was this exact issue.
Last July (3 years, 3 months after purchase in April '08, 15 inch MBP) the screen would suddenly turn to this light gray and light purple small checkerboard-like pattern and we could not log in. The keyboard would light up, the logo would appear on top of this pattern, but the little wheel would stop spinning and hang after a little while.
We went to the Genius bar at our local store and they ran the test for the defective graphics card and some other diagnostics. It passed the test, but they still felt it was the graphics processor, just not the covered repair. We were quoted about $300 and issued a ticket to ship it off for repair. We were eventually able to log in after many attempts (probably one it earned up) and back up all our data. Since I had just purchased a new iPad we opted not to fix it at that point in time.
Then I read about the lawsuit and found your site. I called Apple support, they took all the info and asked if it lit up the Caps key and chimed. Since we have not touched it since July, i was not able to answer on the phone as it needed charging. I used the warm up trick mentioned. I booted up and fiddled about running Applejack, trying to boot in safe mode (timed out), tried to run a hardware scan, etc while letting it warm up. To my surprise one time while restarting it booted up! I made an appointment for the genius bar once again.
To my surprise it booted fine, chime and everything, though the genius said displaying the Apple logo was just as good. I hadn't even finished the whole story of what it was doing before he pulled out the tester. Failed on the first try this time. He wrote the code to the disk and started the paperwork. Since I was a week past my 4 years at this point he could not automatically get the repair covered. But since I was so close and had documented the issue in July he had me call AppleCare as there was a good chance they would override the timeframe. I called and went through the whole story, got transferred to someone higher up the chain and got an override with no problems. Waited the 30 minutes suggested to update the repair ticket and dropped the laptop off at the genius bar.
Should be able to get our laptop back tomorrow, all thanks to the info on your site. Thank you!