About two months ago, the iPad 2 I bought suddenly stopped working. It was fine when I went to bed, working perfectly, and in the morning it had restored itself and would no longer activate. I did some troubleshooting at home--reset and restored multiple times--and couldn't get the bugger to do anything. I checked the wifi, reseated the sim card, did everything I could find to do to get it back working. Nothing was working! So I got an appointment at the apple store and brought it in. I talked to the genius bar guy and he asked me if I had tried resetting or restoring it. Of course. I told him I had, and he said, "Well, we'll try it here."
Guess what. It didn't work. He returned the iPad to me and said, "Well, we're not really sure what could be causing this, and we don't know how to fix it. It's our suggestion that you replace the iPad. It would be $250." This didn't seem like a great option to me. I had already spent something like $500 on the gadget in the first place, and to spend another $250 for a refurbished older model seemed...idiotic. Also, it struck me that Apple's kneejerk reaction was to replace the item, rather than trying to find out what was wrong with it.
When I tried to get a second opinion, I was told that I would need to pay $19 for customer support by chat or phone. So not only is there no guarantee that they will not say exactly the same thing the guy at the genius bar did, I have to lay out money before I even get an idea of what might be wrong or if it is fixable.
It frustrates me mightily that a cheap PC of the same era, (an Asus bought for something like half the cost) can experience problems, be restored and reset and still work fine, but there is no way for me to access the same kinds of tools for Apple products.
I must admit, it is wonderful to have gone something like seven years without an issue, but the truth is, I'd rather have more frequent issues and be able to solve them than to have bought this item and have Apple suggest buying a new one at the first hint of a problem.