I got home yesterday and found an Xbox 360 waiting for me. The ups guy had dropped it off earlier during the day. Turns out it’s not the same one I sent in, microsoft just swapped out another one in order to “get me back in the game”. That’s directly off the paperwork. Seriously.
So anyway, everything works great. I plugged in my old HD and was back up and running, with all my settings and themes etc. in place in no time. I even have an extra plain vanilla faceplate now, as I was instructed to remove my original before sending in the 360, yet the new one had one installed on it. Thanks microsoft. Aside from having to pay for what essentially should be covered as a manufacturing defect, the turn around time and phone support was excellent.