Dear BK...I think you'll find that Mr. Fielding always makes good points, although I think he is wrong on something in his last post. I reread this thread and don't see where Rick was ever too tough on Martin. I'm not sure that they have had a great repair department in years, although they have developed some techniques which others have enhanced and are now in popular usage. Their fall from grace was the result of corporate smugness. Their reascension toward the top has been through corporate aggression. Credit must be given to Chris IV for steering this course...and the first move he made was to bring back the quality and sound that had made Martin what it was. As the saying goes, "You gotta' dance with who brung yuh." They have made plenty of smart moves since, including the re-issuing of classic models and the "built in collectability" of the signature/limited run Artist series. And they are doing quite well both in sales and acceptance of their "road" series guitars and those using alternate woods.
Maybe you should write to C-IV to complain about the repairs and guarantee. Can't hurt!!! Maybe we ought to send him this thread. I agree with both you and Rick that we buy guitars, not warranties. I don't recall ever sending in a warranty card in my life...on anything. I always figure the hassle isn't worth the time and I can find someone else to fix whatever it is better. I've used new car warranties, but never bought an extended one. And when it came to guitars, many of mine were bought used so it never occured to me that a guarantee was important to others. But you've got a good point on them Taylors...that thread will be coming soon, expect to hear from you!!!