I know two people who bought an early MacBook Pro. 100% of the machines died, both have been rebuilt under warranty.
Macintouch's quality survey indicated a high mortality rate on the early MacBook Pro (the 17" has done well though). Apple tried to launch with the original PowerBook enclosure and they evidently failed. Lots of pain for the early adopters, but Apple people are used to that.
The usual suspect is the Intel CPU. Did it fail to live up to the MIPS/watt hype? I wonder about the GPU though. How much of the MacBook Pro's heat problems are from the Intel CPU vs. the GPU? Does thermal efficiency favor integrated GPU/CPU solutions or not?
I'd like to see a discussion on this. I'm looking.