Well last night was the big night. I was so anxious to get started that I was annoying my wife, who forced me to eat dinner before tearing into the laptop.
After eating, we cleared a space on the coffee table, I placed down an anti-static mat to work on, we printed off pictures and instructions from the internet, I assembled the tools I knew I would need, etc.
My wife found it very entertaining to watch me work on the computer. My dog had a different opinion though, and was thoroughly bored with the whole process. I've put together a page over here that describes what happened with a few more pictures if you are interested in the gory details. For those who just want the end result, well I managed to repair the laptop without causing even more damage (my primary concern.)
While I found the process to be somewhat harrowing, I think that was mostly because it was my stuff on the line. I would probably enjoy this sort of thing quite a bit if I was breaking...er, FIXING other people's computers instead. At least, when it is straightfoward. I hate the troubleshooting part. I'm still amazed that I didn't have leftover screws at the end.
Heh - I forgot to mention. When the laptop rebooted, the date and time were reset - to 4:00 PM, December 31, 1969. Gotta love UNIX time.