Yes I purchased the course new - I wouldn't suggest screwing around with the eBay copies as 1) you are able to maintain possession of the CDs, etc. for so long before being required to return to PLI and 2) the money saved doesn't justify shelling out that lump sum of money to some ghost on eBay.
I have CD-Rom, my buddy is using DVD. I made a mistake with the CD-ROM - get the DVD as it saves the constant shuffling of disks in and out of the player. Other than that there is no difference (apparently the DVD cannot play on your standard DVD player, i.e. you can't watch it on a normal TV).
Not sure about the lecture file format and am too lazy to check - sorry
Also not sure if you can rip the audio file to mp3 format. I haven't tried. I'm guessing that PLI would have attempted to place some sort of security measure on teh CD to prevent this sort of action as the value of the course is hugely dependent upon it remaining in the hands of a select few but who knows ... you might be able to do it...
If I remember correctly very little background research went into my classification as "student." I simply specified that 1) I am in fact a student and 2) the school that I'm attending. Other than that, no additional information was required. Given that you have been admitted, I can't imagine you encountering any problems on this front.
Anyway, good luck with your studies - let me know if you have any more questions.
Hey Ty, I've got a couple quick questions RE: PLI for you.
First, did you buy the course new? I've been watching the auctions on ebay and they've been going around $1500-$1600. I don't want to pay that for used material when I can buy brand new for $1795. Also, do you have the CD-ROMs or DVDs? I'm not sure which one I should pick. These are different from the audio CDs you mentioned right? What file format are the lectures in? For the audio CDs, can you rip them onto your computer to put on an MP3 player?
Finally, if you did buy a new course at the student price, how did you prove you were a student? (...I won't be starting school for 2 months and am not sure how I would prove I am a student).
Lots of questions, any answers would be greatly appreciated.