Dear jflongo, the Acer 5003WLMi definetly suffers from battery issues.
We bought 4 back in 2006 and each laptop's battery failed just after a year. Next to this, the laptops did not function correctly when we put the batteries in. Two of these laptops were used for videos, gaming, etc. while two others were used solely for word-processing, internet-browsing and E-mail.
The only solution is to take out the battery. I'm guessing it's a manufacturing issue, so I would avoid buying a battery from the Original Manufacturer.