In the world of "My NES works every time, but my Xbox 360 stopped reading discs 4 months after I bought it!", we tend to get complacent about how long things will last anymore. When searching for clues of what to do when something breaks down, I've found the most popular answer has become "Go out and buy a new one!!!". Have we become so lazy that instead of expecting top performance from an item we paid top price for, we're just willing to toss another chunk of cash down for the instant gratification of knowing we own one that works now?
When my friend gave me his RROD Xbox 360, I had no clue that the controller needed a constant stream of batteries, so I started researching my options. I either bought an official rechargeable pack or I kept replacing batteries, I decided I would spring for the rechargeable pack. After doing some research, I bought a rechargeable pack from an online Chinese vendor because the reviews were basically the same as the official pack, "Lasted 6 months, now it won't hold a charge." and I only paid about half of what they wanted for the official pack.
After I got the 360 fixed, I never played it for more than a few hours. Honestly, I didn't even play it for more than a stretch of maybe 3 weeks before packing it away in favor of one of my retro systems. When I packed the system away I always removed the battery from the controller, and when the system was in use I never used the controller without having the charger cable hooked into the system.
So after a long stretch of 3 or 4 months, I was shocked to find the battery wouldn't work anymore. I wasn't sure how long it would last, but I was expecting a little longer than I got from it, considering it's non-constant usage. But since I didn't pay much for it, I think it would be safe to say I may buy another one. I don't expect much from China, when its presented as such, but when I see a big named item, I expect that company to back it up no matter where it was built!
I live under the delusion that there is almost always a way to fix something, you just need to pinpoint the problem and fix it. I'm not scared to take something apart and tinker around inside with my soldering iron in hopes that it will work again, because usually it does! I've fixed systems and games alike using this method.
So why have we become so quick to just toss the old things that don't function or don't function as well as they used to, just to go buy a replacement and end up in an endless cycle of buying things that break down?