Whilst I was at University in 2007, with student Apple Care, I dropped my laptop and smashed the screen.
Took it in to get repaired and didn't even bring up Apple Care as it was so obviously user damage so not covered. A couple of days later I got a call telling me that since I'd had the screen replaced a month before for another fault, then it was under warranty and would be replaced for free.
I guess that good service would never scale with popularity, but it was one of the most compelling reasons to recommend a Mac at the time.
I've since had a Samsung Ultrabook (imo much nicer than the equivalent Air) and a Dell XPS which was doing 13" screens in a 12" body long before apple did. Both have been reliable and I don't think I could ever go back to paying Apple Tax.
Edit: and this is from someone who'd had a Mac since OS 8 (#CSB)