Thanks for the comments, folks.
I understand from my reading that the screens are easily damaged. But I haven't had an accident with this device - I haven't dropped it, and I haven't dropped anything on it - and there were no signs of damage to the screen when I sent it away. The screen certainly wasn't cracked! But there's no way I can prove that - the warranty company acknowledges that it's my word against the repairers, but has also firmly stated that it's taking the repairers' word for it. It's like trying to get a pay-out from an insurance company.
All that happened was that the device kept locking up - sometimes on booting, sometimes on page turns - and then one day I tried to boot it and there was no display on the screen. I sent it off in good faith, which I pointed out to the warranty company, to which their reply was, "Of course you're going to say that." It makes me *so angry* when people just casually imply that you're a liar - does no-one have any ethics any more? I know there are cheats out there, but how does that justify treating everyone as if they are one?
Yes, I bought the unit at a retailer here in Australia. But I suspect I've got no grounds for a claim, because I can't prove what the repairer is saying isn't accurate. And as I said, it's going to cost me $120 just to get the broken unit back.
So I think the best thing to do is cut my losses and simply buy a new unit. But my dissatisfaction with CR Kennedy, the lack of information and updates from iRiver itself, and now my experiences with this predatory repair company have really soured me on iRiver as a brand.
I'd appreciate the thoughts of you folk, if I may. Options are few here in OZ, and because my existing ebook library is completely in epub format, it looks like I need to choose between the Story HD, the Kobo Touch or the new Sony. I don't much like the physical buttons on the Story HD, or the fact that it seems almost impossible to get a case for it, or that the screens are more vulnerable than the other two brands.
Any thoughts from anyone, please?