Dell laptop dying - out of warranty - so advice needed

My Dell 600m is giving me all sorts of problems. Started a few weeks ago when I didn’t plug it in fully, and it sorta fried the nic. Things got worse over the weekend. I went on a trip and came back to recharge it, and the battery heated up hella hot (and I’ve had this thing for 18 months, and it always got warm, but never hot.) The battery indicator LED is flashing four reds and a solid green at me, and from what I’ve googled, it basically means the motherboard needs to be replaced.

I got this laptop cheap ($750) with one of those super Dell coupons, and I didn’t bother with getting any extended coverage/warranty past the usual 1-year warranty. And that expired last October.

I’ve been trying to surf Dell’s site to find out how much out-of-warranty repairs will cost, but no luck at all.

So…

Anyone have a good idea how much Dell’s out-of-warranty service is for something like replacing a mobo?

If it’s going to be hella expensive, I’ll just buy a new damn laptop. I’ve got the dough for one of those MacBook Pros, and if they can indeed dual boot Windows and run at full speed (the full speed being the problem right now), it’s going to be hard to resist. But I hate the idea of giving up the ghost on this laptop after just 18 months. And, at the very least, even if I do replace it, I would like to get it fixed so I can give it to a friend who needs a laptop.

Um, call them?

Stop using the battery immediately and read this site.

As for the motherboard, no, it obviously isn’t worthwhile fixing an el-cheapo dell special out of warranty.