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Rebate deals: Good or bad?

Ever been burned by a rebate offer? Think they're the greatest thing since sliced bread? Now's your chance to speak out.

Last month's post about refurbished gear generated lots of great feedback, so today I'd like to open the floor to an even more controversial topic: rebates.

I know from reading various post comments that many of you have strong feelings about this. A few of you have even accused me of "promoting scams," which I suppose is understandable if you've been burned by a rebate deal in the past. (For the record, I'm not affiliated in any way with any company, so the only thing I'm promoting is my fondness for cheap stuff.)

But what's the overall consensus? Are rebate deals worth the time, effort, and potential headaches? What kind of luck have you had with them? Personally, I've taken advantage of dozens of rebates over the years, and I don't recall a single problem getting my check in the mail. Once or twice I made a mistake on a form, but I always received notification of that mistake and a chance to correct it.

Anyway, hit the comments page and share your rebate thoughts. If it turns out you really, really hate them, I'll do my best to find more deals that have out-the-door pricing, no rebates required.