Apple Laptop Reliability Survey
Come on, we should know better about extended warranties. Applecare on a Powerbook is $349. That's a pretty steep bet that you're probably going to lose. After all it doesn't cover accidents like drops or spills, which are the primary cause of laptop demise. The second leading problem is hard drive failure, which, if it happens, can be repaired by a tech for less than $200 (cost including the new drive.) Third are logic board or screen problems, which are expensive but not so likely. You may be out $700 if that happens (and it's a small chance), but if you go with Applecare you are certainly out $349 either way.
Remember, you get a year's warranty with purchase. If the model has a defect that will show within the year. If not, it will probably last for three or four years without trouble. The chances of a serious problem (other than drive failure) within the second or third year are pretty slim, and if there's not a problem Apple keeps the cash. If you're anything like me in two, three or four years you'll be eyeing a new notebook anyway, and the $349 you blew on Applecare would go a long way towards a brand new model.
If Applecare was less-- like $100-- I'd say it was good insurance. But right now, it's just a cash cow for Apple.