>That's a lost battle. Every tech product I've ever sent back >for warranty has required that I pay for shipping to them. It >would be tough to find one that didn't.
No it isn't.
For example, Dell Computers, one of the world's largest, well known online computer retailers, pays for shipping for warranty work/defects.
Sony also does this for a large swath of their products including the Playstation.
My brother-in-law peddles gym equipment for a living. Pretty much every major gym equipment manufacturer pays for shipping when a defect is involved.
I live near a Nikon repair depot and so I don't have to ship. If I did and had a brand new defective product I would agree to pay the shipping only as a last resort and after complaining up the chain of command as high as I could go. My general experience is that most companies that don't have a general policy of paying shipping charges for defective merchandise will relent before you bother someone really important.