I love the iMac, so this will not be an Apple-bashing thread. I switched from a PC the week that the aluminum iMacs came out, and I love almost everything about it. I don't ever plan to go back to a PC. That said, this particular iMac that I bought seems to be a lemon. Apple has probably already spent more on repairs to this 10-month old computer than I paid for it, but it is still not fully functional, and I plan to call and insist on a replacement. Here's the history. Early Aug. 07: I bring home my new aluminum iMac, two days after release of this model. Sept. '07: the hard drive dies in my one month old iMac. Time to repair--two weeks at the very busy Apple Store closest to me. Ugh. Shortly after I get my computer back, I decide to buy AppleCare, seeing this as a bad omen. (Mac experience goes smoothly for 8+ months, including the Leopard upgrade) June 25, '08: The machine comes out out of sleep mode in the morning with nothing but a gray screen. None of the usual troubleshooting boot options produce a different result. I try booting to my Leopard disc and not only does it not work, but my disc will not eject under any circumstances. AppleCare isn't able to help by phone , so I get a genius bar appt. at the Apple Store that afternoon. I decide to buy ProCare, since I can't afford to be w/o my main business computer for 2 weeks again (didn't know about ProCare last time). The geniuses suspect the logic board, since they can't even get their firewire drive to come up. They eliminate the RAM as the source of the problem. June 26: The Apple genius calls to say they replaced the logic board, but the problem was not resolved. They discovered that disconnecting the optical drive allowed the computer to boot, so they replaced the optical drive, but the problem still existed, so that meant they narrowed the problem down to the power cable to the optical drive. They didn't have one in stock so it was ordered. June 28: The part comes in, they install it right away, I get my computer back exactly 3 days after I drop it off with a new logic board, optical drive and cable. It boots fine when I get home. However, given the optical drive issues, I decide to burn a few CDs I've been meaning to burn to make sure all is well. Disc 1 burns OK, Disc 2 gets about half way through the burning process, and the screen goes black and the computer turns off completely. It boots normally when I turn it on again. I try to burn the CD again and the same thing happens, only shortly after the burn starts this time. Later, I try to install some software from a CD-ROM, and get another shutdown in the middle of the install. So, I have a functional computer, but a mostly non-functional optical drive. June 29: I call AppleCare again to describe the new issue. Since I am still able to do my work on the computer in its current state, we schedule a technician to come to my house to fix the problem this time so I don't have to give my iMac up to the Apple geniuses again and lose more work time. A new optical drive, cable, etc. are ordered for the house visit. July 1: A very nice technician who really seemed to know his stuff comes to work on the computer. I easily duplicate the problem of shut downs during a CD burn. The technician replaces all the parts that were ordered for my machine, we boot it up and try a CD burn...we get about 3/4 of the way through the burn and my computer shuts down again. Identical problem. Furthermore, the technician is unable to run his diagnostics disc from my optical drive. Okay, so now I have had three major repairs, and my computer is still not fully functional. I asked the technician if this is usually the point at which a replacement may be offered, since I'd read something here about 3 major repairs being the usual policy and he confirms that it is likely I would be able to get a replacement, depending on who I talk to. He thought that the next step, if this machine were to have further repairs, would be to replace the logic board again and also the video card, but that it was up to me and AppleCare to decide what came next. So... I have a bunch of questions related to replacement machines, assuming that I am able to convince them that that is what they need to do. 1. Any tips or key words/phrases to use to get the Applecare rep to escalate this to someone authorized to offer a replacement? 2. For those here who have been offered a replacement, and if so, how did things transpire and how long did it take? Do they ship a replacement to your home, have you go to the Apple Store, or what? Is it easy to transfer the AppleCare to the new computer? 3. Do they usually send refurbs or new machines when replacement is authorized? Are they likely to give you the current version of iMac at the price point you paid, or do they try to match the original specs as closely as possible? The specs on mine lie between the current $1199 (processor speed and RAM match) and $1499 models (HD size and graphics card match). The machine I have is the standard spec 2.4 Ghz 20" aluminum iMac with 320 GB hard drive and 1 GB of RAM that was the $1499 model when I bought it in Aug 07. I have an extra stick of RAM that I would, of course, remove if I had to send this one back. Does that mean they are likely to replace it with the current standard $1499 model with 2.66 Ghz, or would they give me the current low end $20" model, but customize it to bring it up to the specs I had? 4. Any chance they would allow me to do an UPGRADE on the replacement to the low end 24" iMac if I paid them the $300 difference? That extra screen real estate sure would be nice, especially since I'm considering getting a TV tuner and we do not currently have any HDTV's in the house. 5. My final question is, how smooth is the process of using a Time Machine backup to transfer all my old files, applications, and settings to a new computer? I know Leopard and Time Machine are relatively new, but I'm hoping that some forum members have had the occasion to try this already. I would make sure my Time Machine backup did not exclude any files or applications that I needed, and I would also do a clone of my hard drive to my extra partition on the external drive, just in case. Will applications install fine from a Time Machine backup, or is it better to install them on the new machine myself (e.g. Photoshop Elements, iWork). Thanks in advance for any help or advice.