Over the past couple weeks, I've been having a problem with my Garmin randomly shutting off in the middle of a run. I think the first time it happened was during the Rodeo Run. I've been debating about muddling through and just "monitoring" it incessantly during my runs to make sure it's still on or just go out and get a new one. I've had it since September of '06. Well, now that I say that, I realize it has been a relatively short amount of time and the thing should have a longer shelf life.
So, plan B...I called Garmin and it turns out that for the low, low price of $99, if you mail it to them, they will fix it. And if they don't fix it, they will replace it with a brand new one (refurbished). So, what to do? If my goal is immediate satisfaction (I always lean this way) the Best Buy, Galleria has one in stock for $199.00. Unfortunately, most of the local running stores just don't do the volume to be able to offer any significant discount off of retail. Even my favorite running store, Luke's Locker, won't even let you use your HARRA 10% discount with any Garmin products. I bought this Garmin back in '06 at Finish Line Sports who did honor their HARRA 20% discount. But that was 20% off of regular price, ~$350 back then. That was still a good deal and patronizing one of our local running stores is always a good thing. Of course, if I want to get a new unit and want the lowest price, amazon.com is the best deal. But if you include shipping and all that, you're pretty close to Best Buy's price and the immediate gratification is worth the extra $15-20.
So, I've got to decide today. Do I want to save $100 and go without my Garmin for a month or more? Or do I just want to replace the unit and get immediate gratification? These are the kinds of tough, painful, gut-wrenching decisions I have to deal with on vacation.