Here in the USA my experience is nearly opposite. The distance to the service center is a non-issue as here in the US we have great shipping options.
To all requesting "Sony Service"
After my six month experience trying to get my 3 month old KD-HX46 TV repaired or replaced here are some tips to help for those about to call for service.
First give up any hope that Sony actually cares about your issue. Don't waste time getting angry, that will be counter-productive.
Most companies now rely on one fact: a very high number of consumers will just give up and go away once confronted with bad customer service. In my case in the 6 months of my saga other than auto-replies to requested documentation and pictures, Sony has never contacted me by phone or email. All contact has been initiated by me.
Understand now Sony will not call you, email or make any effort to contact you, it will be up to you to call Sony at every opportunity.
My closest Sony service center is 1400km away. There used to be plenty closer, but Sony for some reason severed ties with a lot of former service centers.
Make notes of everything, what the "service rep" said, time/date you called the name of the rep, what was said would be done and when. etc.
Be very clear what you expect for a resolution and when you expect it to happen by.
When you don't hear from them call back and repeat the process. I should have been more diligent with this.
When all else fails do something, when my patience was exhausted in Sept. I told the Service rep I would be contacting the Better Business Bureau and putting a leaflet together describing my difficulties getting Sony to honor their warranty. I would stand out in front of local Sony dealers and hand them out.
He put me on hold, came back with I need you to send me "one more picture" then we can send you a replacement TV.
I sent the picture then got the auto-reply saying they received it and have never heard from them again.
Two weeks later I got a phone call from a shipper wanting to deliver a new TV.
So don't expect much without being tenacious. Start with your "A" game, be clear in with what you expect for a resolution and when.
Use all available resources, news media, blogs, consumer advocates etc. available in your area to make Sony stand up to their legal requirements under their warranty.
Don't embellish or make stuff up, let the facts speak for themselves.
Due to their Customer Service I won't buy a Sony product again.
But I will buy stock in the Company, brilliant protection of stockholders dividends.