I've held off for a while on my computer saga update, because I wanted to be sure that I hadn't gone into the fire from the frying pan. So far, however, the news is all good.
After my last post about my frustrations with the MacBook Pro, I got an email from our regional Apple rep, Roger Sampson, who'd been pointed to my blog post by another Apple employee who happens to be one of my students.
Roger offered to escalate my case to a higher level of service, and I gratefully accepted his offer. He also was nice enough to provide me with a loaner MacBook while my MBP went out for repairs once again.
When I got the machine back after its next round of repairs (which included a new antenna), it was still exhibiting problems with both network reception and sleep/wake behavior. At that point, Apple gave me the option of trying to have it repaired again, or of getting a brand-new MacBook Pro to replace it. That was not a difficult choice. So, right before Thanksgiving, I received a new 17" MBP.
So far, I've had zero problems with it, other than a few annoyances related to the Leopard upgrade. The hardware seems stable, I can get wifi reception on the road again, and my frustration levels are greatly reduced.
Many thanks to Roger and the service team at Apple for turning things around before I abandoned Macs for good. :)