Here are some of my experiences with computer hardware.
multivac.cwru.edu was ordered from Dell in summer 1999. It's a Precision 410 workstation, with:
One of the original disks had an I/O failure on 2003-01-31. Unmounting the filesystem and running badblocks resulted in a kernel panic.
teletran-1.cwru.edu was ordered from IBM in summer 2002. It's a ThinkPad A22p (model 2629USU), with:
Shortly after this machine arrived, the motherboard died. I scheduled a time for IBM to pick up the machine for repair. The machine made it from Cleveland, OH to Memphis, TN and back in under 19 hours, and was returned in working condition. However, it was powered on when it came back, suggesting that the repair folks didn't bother to read the shutdown instruction I sent. (The repair order form specifically asked about such instructions.)
The hard disk drive died and was replaced in 2007.
In January 2009, teletran started hanging so frequently as to be unusable, apparently due to overheating.