This has to be my worst experience in hi-fi thus far, and I hope it isn't repeated anytime soon. As background, in June, I bought a Sony MDS-JA555ES minidisc deck brand new from Sound Professionals. In case you aren't aware, the 'JA555ES is arguably the best minidisc deck ever made (the current 'JA333ES comes close). Seeing as minidisc isn't a mainstream format and that the demand for ES decks is low, the 'JA555ES was not an easy component to track down while it was in production in 2000. When I saw that Sound Professionals had it in June, months after it had been discontinued, I was ecstatic. The 'JA555ES is a killer piece both in terms of sound quality and construction. It weighs 33 lbs., which is more than the NAD integrated amp it is connected to. As the British would say, the 'JA555ES is a fine piece of kit. As good as the 'JA555ES is, minidisc still doesn't sound as good as CD, but on this deck, minidisc comes quite close. For six months, I was extremely pleased with the deck. Then, Saturday came. On Saturday, I was listening to a minidisc on the 'JA555ES deck and everything was going fine. It was time to go out for the evening, so I stopped the minidisc and hit the open/close button on the remote to eject it. To my horror, the drawer opened half-way, stayed open for a few seconds, and closed. The deck then proceeded to read the minidisc's TOC, and I was able to play the minidisc with no problems (i.e., no tracking errors). Everytime I tried to eject the minidisc, the drawer would only open half-way. Thus, I can't remove the minidisc. When the drawer is stuck open half-way for the few seconds, I can see inside the transport, and it looks as though the slider in the drawer that carries the minidisc is slightly out of alignment. It boggles my mind that a component so well-constructed could exhibit such a problem after six months of relatively light use. In comparison to my CD and SACD players, I don't use the 'JA555ES too much. This sucks, plain and simple. I am hopeful that this is not a major problem, again, since the 'JA555ES is no longer in production. On the plus side, the deck does not give me error messages, and it will read the minidisc's TOC and play it properly every time. As I said, it appears that something is simply out of alignment. After trying to eject the minidisc a few times to no avail, I called Sony, and as I suspected, they told me to bring the deck to their service facility in Bristol, PA, which is about an hour from me. So tonight, I will box up the deck in order to bring it in for service tomorrow. I just hope Sony can fix it. If the deck is fixed, which I really think it should be, my concern is whether the problem will arise again. If the laser assembly had burned out, as strange as that would be for such a young component, I would feel confident in having a new assembly installed. However, with a mechanical problem, I am concerned that it will recur. Have you ever experienced this with a component that was repaired? In other words, have you lost confidence in the operation of a component after it was repaired? If the 'JA555ES is repaired, I will always wonder if the alignment problem will come back. I guess if the 'JA555ES weren't so expensive and high-quality (other than the alignment problem) and could be readily replaced, I wouldn't care so much. Anyway, this sucks.