Yeah, I am pretty upset about the whole event, hence all the rhetoric.
It does seem like the 7700 was just engineered poorly. This is just my perspective due to owning one, so I'm sure somebody will disagree, But even hardware problems aside, I knew I made a grave mistake buying from Alienware when they pulled that whole revised motherboard bullsh*t.
"Oops, it turns out that the power supply and mobo will only support the graphics card on the market right at the very moment that we built it. How could we have possibly forseen that people buying expensive gaming PCs would want to do something as radical as upgrade their video card?"
I felt cheated right then, as I do whenever it seems like a company enjoys punishing people for buying their products earlier than others.
But then one week before the warranty was due to expire, the video card started overheating. And dealing with customer support to get it fixed was a mess. Finally when I got them to agree to RMA it, they said they would send the replacement then I would have to send the defective in or they would charge the total to our credit card.
That's what they _said_. What actually happened is they went ahead and charged us for it--twice. We nearly ended up bouncing a bunch of payments on the house, car, etc. and getting them to even admit that they did it much less resolve it was a lesson in frustrationn. I'm sure if those checks would have bounced, they would have been happy to admit responsibility for the ensuing fees.
Again, this is just some examples of what my experience with Alienware has been like. One year later, the replacement video card was back to overheating again. This was despite using a cooler bay (ZM NC1000, I believe it was recommended to me on this very forum). The battery died maybe a week or so after the warranty expired. That's not even going into things like the scorch marks on the body where your palms rest when typing, etc. So yeah, as far as I can tell it seems like the 7700 is just a poorly engineered PoS because none of the other laptops owned by relatives ever have troubles. At all. Sony, HP, Acer, they're all performing admirably. And here I am, paying several times what they did, with a broken paperweight on my hands.
Again, excuse the rhetoric but I'm still in the 'severely pissed off customer' phase. On the plus side, I was always scared to death that the display would just up and die some day like other cases I've read around here. So at least it never got the opportunity since the rest of the machine did it first.