Buying an HP Laptop from Costco?

Hi All,

I tried to search the threads and could not find an answer to this (though there are other mentions of Costco re: Alienware, Sony, etc.) so here goes:

As a prospective HP DV5T purchaser, I am trying to determine what the pro's and con's are for buying my laptop from Costco since I can fully customize it on their site the same way I can on HP's with the following pro's and con's:

Pro's
1) I get 90 days to return my laptop to Costco which is nice and also allows me time to see if Dell will release a Studio or newer XPS line with Montevino and a graphics card 9600M+ or better
2) They extend the basic warranty to two years for free

Con's
1) I cannot get the Accidental Protection warranty through the Costco site but according to HP, I can order it through them for about $250 for 2 years
2) No student discount allowed through the Costco site

Questions
Assuming my pro's and con's are correct (let me know if I'm missing anything), I am wondering about:

1) When I have a problem, I understand that I will need to bring my laptop into Costco and they return it to HP vs. going directly to HP. Has anyone had to do this and how well does it work? Is it easier or more of a headache?

2) Has anyone tried adding the Accidental Protection warranty through HP after buying the laptop and had to leverage it? Do you still go through Costco under that warranty or through HP?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. To see the price difference, I configured (on 1/1/2009) the same exact DV5T laptop on both the costco and HP site (using the student discount as well on the HP site) and selecting mostly top-end components, the Costco site still came out to be ~$60 cheaper at about $1609. However, since I will have to add the Protection warranty which I already included in the HP one at about $250 more, it seems I will be paying about $190 more for the one at Costco but will allow me 90 days to decide if I like my laptop vs. 21 days through HP.
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  1. Hmm. . . is $190 worth the extra 69 days of "deciding"?
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