I also have a tecra 8100 (PIII 600Mhz, 12gig, DVD, Docking Station) that I got off ebay back in august 2003. I haven't seen anything about any recalls on these (but see #2 below), but as far as I can tell they do seem to have two recurring problems.
1. the memory slot b tends to come loose and is no longer recognized. I've had this happen in mine and have seen several posts about others having this problem as well. (by the way my girlfriend has a Dell Latitude CPx, PIII 650MHz, and it happened in hers too--maybe it's a problem that goes beyond just this model or Toshiba??). Generally when this occurs, whatever ram you have in slot be is simply no longer recognized by the system. I brought it to the local toshiba service center and they wanted to replace the motherboard, out of warranty of course (yea right). But then I found another (non-toshiba) shop where a technchian was able to resolder the slot b back onto the motherboard. It has come loose two more times since then, but both times the guy was able to get it back up and running for me at a reasonable price (labor in Chile is ALOT cheaper than in the developed world and they tend to be more willing to patch things up and get the last few drops out of about anything before giving up and recomending a major repair/replacement). Unfortunately, ever since the first repair, now when the slot stops working I usually get a blue screen of death and the machine just tries to restart, but never gets very far. If I take the ram module out of slot b, with some patience, I can get to work long enough so I can back stuff up, before bringing it back in.
2. The FL inverter for the LCD. Around October of last year Toshiba issued a warranty extension to cover this problem (sounds kind of like a recall, but they are not calling it that). Basically the screen becomes intermittent or may just go black. According the toshiba, anyone that has alreadly had this problem reparied is eligible for a refund if they had the repair done in an authorized center. Anyone whose tecra 8100 presents this problem, can bring it in to an authorized repair center and have it fixed at no cost (apparently you can even ship it in and they'll reimburse the shipping and send it back free). I just got mine fixed at the nearby premier service center (picked it up friday) and it seems to be working with no problem now. Best of all, toshiba kept their word and authorized the repair under the waranty and I paid nothing (pretty cool for a five year old computer). Which brings me to an off the subject point. like I mentioned, I am in Chile but I bought this notebook in the US. Toshiba has places all over the place. If you have a warranty related problem, no matter wher you bought it, you can bring it to an authorized center anywhere in the world and get it fixed. Also, pretty cool. I had a friend who had a Gateway that he bought in the states and brought down here. When his motherboard went out on him he had to pay the shipping to and from the warranty repair center in the states
All in all, I've been very happy with this notebook, especially considering that I got it used and have treated it pretty poorly. I am a marine biologist and have used this as my only computer since I got it and I even use it in the field when I measure the forces that occur when breaking waves crash on shoreline critters. I use a measuremnt system where the force measurements are piped directly into the tecra, but I have to be about 30m away from where the waves are breaking and hooked up to a local power supply (12V battery w/ an auto/air dc adaptor) for periods of about 4 hours. Usually I do this work at night because during the day I have a hard time seeing the screen in the sunlight, and so the screen and keyboard get virtually covered with mist (even though I have it inside a small tent). I'd bet the mist is mostly saltwater and I don't want to know where else it's getting into, and that has got to be bad! Plus the university I work at is an hour and a half away from where I live so I haul it around with me quite regularly on bus trips to and from the university, and daily between office and home (for over a year now, keep in mind it's an old notebook). Considering the beating that I have given it, I consider the problems I've had to be minimal and am very satisfied with it. I am now beginning my search for a replacement and have my eyes on the newer line of Tecras.
Toshiba has also been pretty good about maintainig driver updates on their webpage and even putting them out for newer OS's like Win XP (and I'll bet they will do so for Longhorn when/if it comes out too). Keep in mind that when you see people posting problems, it doesn't necesarily mean that it is a major design flaw that will occur in yours too. Also, it is much more common to see people with problems in these types of forums, since they are looking for help or solutions to their problems, and those that do not have problems are usualy off doing other things (or here looking for advice on a new PC).
Good luck with yours.