Got the laptop back. I'm impressed with the turnaround time - but the repair place is in Tennessee, so now I get why fedex got it there so quickly
Plus on repair: they replaced the front face that I decided to drop this summer, without me asking.
Minus on repair: the left half of my monitor is still dim. They also told me it wasn't covered under warranty and therefore I should expect to be billed in 5-7 days.
Apple customer support assured me when I called this morning to say "I'm not paying" that I wasn't paying.
Downsides on customer support: they take forever to get stuff done when you call.
Upsides: they said my repair'd be free and they actually don't try to get you to go away