UK Service bad for everything?
This is a terrible story. For what it's worth, I've owned dozens of Macs and never had a repair problem. I even own a Macbook, and had to have the battery replaced, but was in and out of the store in 20 minutes.
But I wonder if there is a difference between what goes for customer service in the UK vs. the US. I took my family on vacation to the Lake District this past May and our rental car got a puncture out in the middle of nowhere. No spare in the car either. Called AVIS, and they sent out an RAC man, telling him that we had a spare. Naturally, when he shows up, the first thing he asks is where's the spare? To his credit, he moved heaven and earth to find us a tire late on a Sunday night. But Avis did nothing for us. I paid over $200 US for the tire, my family was stuck in the dark in a derelict car for over 5 hrs, and the most we could get out of Avis, after arguing quite a bit, is that they would split the cost of the tire.
At least you got a significantly better machine out of your troubles!