The Register:Dead iBook owners take protest to MacWorld show
One of the best reasons to buy Apple products is that your fellow consumers are savvy, demanding, and vengeful. Apple has the same quality control issues that curse the entire consumer hardware/software industry, but Apple can be held accountable. (BTW, in my personal experience Microsoft's software quality control is now superb, much better than Apple's.)
There are some advantages to buying a brand, especially a brand with a demanding community. I think Porsche may have learned similar lessons in the 1980s. The article has links to the Blackcider site that's managing the potential litigation.
Apple still has many things they can do to turn this from a potential disaster into a postive for the company. They can learn from recalls in the auto industry.