Well, out of the blue this afternoon, while I was busy working on a client's PC, I got a phone-call from someone at Acer head office. Finally my faxes there seem to be having some real affect.
"The warranty is only valid for one year, however, because you purchased a high end laptop, it shouldn't fail. So as a courtesy to you we will fix it for you for free."
Thank you Acer, I knew you could do it :-)
It's taken a while, to get this far, granted. But it sounds like I can actually get my laptop repaired entirely at Acer's cost (after being without it for 2 months).
Now, lets see if they will courier it to me at Arniston, where I will be on holiday this week...