Yes, I always write the start-of-use date on the side of my bulbs so that I know when I put them in. I had 3 premature failures (an estimated 60-100 hours) of some £8 CFL daylight bulbs from BLTdirect. They sent me some more at no cost - even after 1 year of purchase!
It is true that the higher power CFLs seems to have a more limited life. The electronic components definitely aren't up to handling the extra heat in many of these. The GE ones used to last for years but now I've noticed that the more recent one use crap components too and also break prematurely.
Oh yes, and there seems to be no correlation between what you pay for a CFL bulb and how long it lasts. I've had cheap ikea ones way outlast their stated life.
On the bright side, I've had some success in repairing the bulbs by taking them apart and replacing components from other similar broken bulbs where the same component survived. Really only worthwhile if they are the more expensive models.
My advice: buy those Eon-subsidised ultra-cheap 11W CFLs from Homebase etc and just use more of them. (I think they were 10p each??)