Well, my visit was a bit underwhelming.
The guy calls at 6:48pm (from a 4-7pm scheduled 'show up' time) to tell me he's about 15-20 minutes away. He arrives around 7:15. All's good at this point.
As he's walking in, I notice he's a bit light on bag carriage - turns out I'm not wrong.
Direct quote: "I got the motherboard shipped in from DHL, and it looked like it'd been scrunched by a conveyor belt or something." Followed by something about different depots and pains/nuisances, etc. Cliff's Notes - no freakin' motherboard.
Now - my bullshit detectors immediately go off, klaxons a-blazing. You'd think he'd have told me about this in the "almost there" phone call a few minutes prior. Saying it now makes the tech in me (yeah - been there, done that, told people BS stories before) translate his "speech" into "I'm way behind schedule, so I'm going to concoct this story about a 'scrunched box' in order to just get away with fixing your screen and leaving as quickly as possible to get to my next call." Went from a Samsung (complete with persistent line) to a (seemingly) decent Philips.
The reason I know the story's BS is he only commented on the damaged box - not that he actually OPENED the box to find a damaged/unusable product inside. THAT would've been more believeable.
Now - I've got to wait till next week (at the earliest), strike my laptop from campus to bring it back home, and go through this all again.
I got so pissed afterward that I decided to bite the bullet and install the 7800GTX I'd had lying around (and spending a few hours afterwards trying out new drivers, only to go back to Tony's 92.91s). I figure the next time around, when he's forced to do the motherboard replacement, during the slight time it's open, take the time to AS5 the 7800 and CPU.