Notwithstanding the two hard drive crashes, and a dead SuperDrive after two years, I think I eked out good value from the computer, overall. After some serious diagnosis by an engineer friend of mine, he discovered that the power supply had literally burned up in one section, scorch marks and all, and had left scorch marks on the interior surface to where it was attached. The power supply took the video controller and video display with it, so for all practical purposes, the iMac is unrecoverable. I was told it may not even be worth salvaging for parts.
I purchased a new i7 Mac Mini to replace my rig — I’m currently in the process of configuring it and of course, copying over the old files and preferences — and a 27-inch Thunderbolt display that is absolutely amazing: It’s the single best monitor I have ever used with my PCs or Mac, as good as the best large-screen TV currently on the market. HD media looks, well I can’t be hyperbolic enough about it.
Thank you Apple.