it's a known issue, and w/ enough pressure from customers they've finally started offering a reasonable fee. then again, i'd argue that if u can't google yourself some plans to swap out the battery (potentially a higher capacity one at that) on your own then i guess one would be left in a bit of a helpless quandary. personally, that's the reason i went w/ my now returned MPIO player, i just used rechargable AAA batteries, as the batteries on previous built-in (non-ipods) players gradually wore down.
if your laptop battery has lasted more than 2 years, u r lucky. it's commonly known that their memory and capacity will degrade over time. no different for any other battery (thus far). does it suck that they didn't cover it up front? yes.will i be trying to crack mine open to put in my own replacement battery in due time? likely. but then again i have replacement coverage which has covered my ass thru 5 non-ipod players and i'm more likely to just pop for a 16GB Nano inside of the 2 year coverage, than try and monkey w/ the battery on my own.
ok, i'm rambling, i'll shut up now.