That really doesn't sound like Apple, they're so anal about warranties and stuff here in Europe that they don't even cover stuff that is within legally mandatory replacements. Both private and corporate customers fleeing from them for that reason in particular.
Sorry, to hear that, the call center for the states in in Canada (I don't think that makes much of a difference), but yeah it is true. Pillow fell on roomates laptop, snaped of the hinges and she didn't have a warranty, I still had to pay some out of pocket, but it wz nothing like if it hadn't been under warranty. They did the whole overnight thing that they usually do. Also, this was during Christmas (of ought 2)so again that may have made a difference, but I've had lots of times when I've had to use the ole warranty from apple and they've always been nice, helpful, and as speedy as possible. They've had to replace my hole hardrive once no problems. I've had countless times when roomates would spill beer/hot chocolate on my keyboard and I've had to call to get a new one (no questions asked always free). My bro in law is a Mac genius he absolutely swears by buying refurb'd macs (w/warranties) as being like the best deal in computing.