Thank you so much for your review. I found it hard to believe at first, but I called HP customer service and posed as an HP-50g owner with an out-of-warranty problem. Their tech support is farmed out to India (no surprise there) and I was told exactly what you were: that they don't repair their calculators. They will only replace them if under warranty. When pressed, the Indian tech support guy wouldn't vary from his script, either. Although calculators are not inherently prone to failure, the large LCD is a concern.
I had done quite a bit of research and would have definitely preferred this machine to a TI, but how can I in all good conscience buy something this expensive from a large corporation that refuses to support what it sells?
Your statement that third-party techs can't repair the calculator makes sense, since HP doesn't have any interest in stocking or providing parts whatsoever. It's made cheaply in Asia and that's as far as the components travel.
HP has all but abandoned its calculator line; it is only maintained as a vestige of their past. If they had any interest in re-entering the market, they would have spent the last decade heavily promoting RPN to the latest generation of high school and university students to win market share from TI. As it is, the young engineering and mathematical workforce has been weaned on TI and will most likely support that company for the life of their careers.
Shame on HP.