Thanks schen - I appreciate you relating your experiences with this process. I had no idea that the R40s were made by ACER!
It's a pity as I inherited a very nice example of one of the last R40s built - it really is a quite solid machine, if a bit huge, but the screen realestate is not great for the 15" size.
Don't get me wrong; I actually like the R40 quite a bit (especially the later P M models). I bought one for a family member 2 years ago and it's going strong. You can tell their lineage by looking at where the A/C plug is on the back (opposite of where virtually every other modern TP has theirs). Those plugs are also one of their weaknesses. They tended to develop cold-solder joints and become damaged. This was a flaw going all the way back to the earlier Acer contracted TPs such as the 390 and iSeries. Otherwise, they are quite solid: Just be careful with putting strain on those plugs!
That being said; all TPs have design weaknesses of one kind or another. 600 and their battery systems, the dreaded MWAVE modems on the 760s, the T20s and the blink of death, and of course the R50s and T40s with the ATI BGA chip issues. The list goes on....., but they are still a far cry better than the alternative! I've supported, Dells, Toshibas, Sonys etc. and when I've had the choice, I've always ordered ThinkPads!