Did you ever consider asking all members to write down a short summary of the lifetime of the Thinkpads they owned/used/took care of? Similar to the many websites that collect consumer ratings and opinions, we could learn something about the average lifetimes of the different Thinkpad models by collecting this information.
I'm almost sure the manufacturers already have such statistics anyway, but we can never get access to them. It just occurred to me that so many, often quite technologically literate, people write on this forum, it would be easy to gather our individual information in one place, i.e. one thread, and maybe get a useful, fairly objective statistical overview from that data, which might help us/others to decide what to buy in the future.
The format could be something very simple like this (I'm using my own experience as an example now):
Model: IBM Thinkpad T43 1875 DAU
Bought (new): 2005, May
Problem/Repair 1, 2010, ~January: several keys were broken or didn't work well anymore. I replaced them
Problem/Repair 2, 2010, September: LCD inverter stopped working (no LCD backlight anymore) + Southbridge chip started disconnecting (PC got stuck on IBM boot screen). Combined cost of replacing part and re-soldering considered too high, so I decided to replace the notebook.
Anyone else thinks this might be a good idea?