Annoyingly, I've had to order a new laptop. My current one is about 6 years old now...every handful of boots or so, there's some really weird graphical error on boot and it fails to startup properly. Sometimes it just stops completely, sometimes it recycles and lets me start it in safe mode, but not always. God knows what's actually causing the problem, but it feels highly terminal so I figure it's best to order the new laptop now and hopefully this one will live long enough to last until its arrival. Grr.
So, I've ordered a new Sony Vaio to replace the current one. Hopefully it will last me as long, if not longer. I like to buy something reasonably mid/high-end but then avoid buying again for a long time. Specs for the interested: Intel Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz, 8GB 1333MHz DDR3-SDRAM, 16.4" 1920x1080 screen, NVIDIA GeForce GT540M 2GB, plus the usual other bells & whistles.
And today the laptop completely gave up the ghost. Completely impossible to start it in anything other than safe mode, and even that seems a crapshoot.
Still, in a way I'm lucky. I've ordered the new one already, and I have a flash drive with everything important from it backed-up already. And I found my even older laptop from about 10 years ago in a cupboard, so I'm still able to get online, though it's really, really slooooow...
Weird coincidence is that just a few weeks ago I was thinking of junking this 10yr old one. Glad I kept it now; definitely got me out of a hole!