what a bummer, but it looks like it's official : my brand new iSight is dead. what's worse (for a guy like me) is i have absolutely no idea why it died, or how to avoid a similar fate for a replacement. all i know is this:
when i first tried my iSight following it's arrival on Dec. 30th, i had the typical mac-user joy of just plugging it in and watching it work beautifully. super. so i fiddled with it for a while... experimenting with the different mounts, etc. we were away the 31st and 1st - i left the isight attached to my laptop and (if i recall correctly) turned on (i.e. lens open).
well, when i went to check my email the night of the 1st, i noticed that my iChat AV little green icon had reverted to the audio symbol (from its once proud video icon). "odd", i thought - anyway it provoked a several day long saga of unplugging/re-plugging, rebooting, googling, lens twisting, googling, emailing, googling, etc. after concluding that i must just be crazy, i emailed my local apple authorized service provider (thanks TRG!), asking them if i could bring the unit by to verify the sad state of affairs. so, yesterday morning, i took it over and they confirmed : i had a bum apple product. :(
so, after spending nearly an hour with a very surprised tech support guy on apple's support line, there is a coffin - er box - on its way for me to return my deceased toy. it's not a big deal, a replacement will follow shortly - however, i've had really good luck with all my other apple gadgets. i suppose as consolation - my call was actually referred to a "product specialist" at apple - apparently iSights don't typically fail this way (at least when they're brand new).
everything will be ok. the good news is - my first ever dealing with apple support was a good one, i'll have a replacement eventually. my only problem is - how do i keep it from happening again? hold on to the hope that it was a fluke, i guess.