If you're going to spend less than 15% of the value of the laptop on a longer warranty, I would seriously consider it. For many, it's your most critical computer in your life, period... and if you're a broke-*ss law school student who can't afford to plunk down $500 for a new motherboard or $400 for a new LCD, hell, it works out in your favor in the end. Smaller things like harddisk crashes and batteries dying are more of a toss-up, but heck for 10-15% you usually work out even there. I would have very few qualms about spending $950-1200 instead of $600-800 on a nicer laptop with a 2 or 3 year warranty if I was in such a situation.
What he said is right. Brian is the first guy I'd call if my computer starts doing funny things, so I trust his opinion completely.
What I meant when I was opining about warranties is this: I generally don't go for them, given my past experiences with extended warranties, but if I were to get a warranty for anything, it would be for a laptop. However, I took a calculated risk not to get a warranty for a number of reasons. Lack of disposable income tops the list. I have a desktop computer that handles the more intensive applications; all I really use my laptop for is to take notes for school (though I've been increasingly relying on it for other things), so my laptop wasn't literally my whole life. I used to back up my data very regularly (I should start doing that again), so I wouldn't lose everything. I have friends I can call for help if something goes on. On the flip side, I also knew that if my laptop konks out, I'm pretty screwed. In the end, I decided that if I take good care of my machine, I might be able to avert bad things, and hence my choice was made. My cheapskate side won out, even if it is not the most economically efficient way to go about things.
Thanks everyone for a good discussion. Do continue to share your thoughts and experiences! It'll help us all make more informed decisions.