Continuing my PowerBook Dent story from last week...
I continued to work with my iPod as a hard drive on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, and took my laptop into the Apple Store on Thursday evening. The guys at the Genius Bar said that neither Apple Care nor a warranty covered accidental damage, and that it would be very expensive if I sent it in. Their suggestion was to take my dented, no-hard-drive-finding PowerBook to The Mac Outlet for a new case. They said if I got a new bottom case, I could bring it back and say "the hard drive can't be found" and Apple Care would likely fix it for free.
On Saturday, I took my machine into The Mac Outlet. They estimated $550 for a new bottom case, and suggested the cheaper new hard drive route for around $250. I agreed with the cheaper route, but told them I was very keen on trying to recover the existing hard drive. Yesterday, they called me at 5:30 and said "You're on of the lucky ones." The whole problem was due to a loose cable - plugging it back in fixed all the issues. Yeeee haawww, my laptop is as good as new!
Now it's time to buy some DVDs, do some backup, and buy one of those "spongy wetsuit material" type cases.