The ibook is dying a slow death.
Okay, it's not really so slow anymore. A better description of its current state would be 'dead'. It won't even boot off the recovery CD. So yay for me, I got to call Applecare yet again. For the record, I was calling about my 12" ibook G4 - I don't have one of the intel products, and don't know if their service record is better or worse.
After reading the forums, we strongly suspect a failing logic board. Honestly I don't care, so long as Apple returns it to me in working order. It's just a bunch of hassle, especially with the nearest Apple service center at least an hour's drive from here.
In summation: when it works, the ibook is a great little computer. But it's reliability record (at least for us) has been spotty at best. I'm just very glad that we got Applecare when we bought it.
My Apple reccomendations have been far fewer these days.