Just three days later, and I've got my computer back!
Everything's in working order - I can now load CDs, I can power up my battery again... mmmmmmm, so nice. And all covered under warranty! (Well, under the extra 2 years of warranty that I purchased up front.) Apple told me 5-7 business days at least, but here it is, delivered to my doorstep just 3 from the day I dropped it off (a Sunday, at that), early in the morning so that I was here to receive it before I left for work - oh my, oh my, oh my. I am not used to having my expectations exceeded by the corporations with whom I choose to do business.
Kat is so, so happy.