Quick update on the camera situation. Black's eventually replaced my camera after some arm twisting and forceful reading of my warranty in the store. Surprisingly they found another D70s in their warehouse somewhere; while I was hoping for an upgrade, I'm just happy that I have a camera that works.
Lessons I've learned:
1. Keep all your documentation in one place. They asked for it often.
2. Keep on top of the store personnel - they already have your money and don't have much intensive to work in your favor.
3. As much as a pain as it was, buying the extended warranty was worth it for me. For $50 I got three trips to Nikon and then a replacement.