Long overdue, here is the final chapter in the warranty story going on with Dell.
They indeed repaired the laptop – at least in part. The graphics now works as it should, but the computer is still unstable and hangs way too often to be useful, even with fresh installations of Vista. Loosing work because the computer hangs at random times (several times per hour) just isn’t an option… No idea what’s causing it – feels like it may be poor thermal design/overheating. But that’s just a guess.
Nice of Dell to repair the broken GPU, but too bad they didn’t make the laptop usable again.