I'm not dead, but my PowerBook is. Even though I saw this coming over a week ago and took it into the Apple store to get fixed, they couldn't do anything then because I couldn't reproduce the failure in the store. Now it won't boot at all. Luckily I was able to hook it up in target disc mode and get a backup of all my user files - my most recent backup was a few days ago, so it's good to be 100% up to date. Of course, the hardware problem is causing disc errors, so some of the files didn't survive the backup, but none that I don't have on the backup from last month.
Can I just say that having backups is a good thing?
So I'm going to the Apple store again today to hand over the PowerBook and pray to Jobs that it will get fixed soon.