Wednesday 24 September 2008: This is the end, my friend
My other G9 came back today, complete with its latest new lens.
They're officially baffled. Apparently they extensively 'tested' my last lens by scraping it with various sharp metal instruments and were surprised at the force they had to exert to leave a mark. I'm still convinced the repetitive opening and closing of the lens doors with a small piece of trapped debris is the cause. They're convinced it's not.
Props to Canon, though - they have replaced three lenses at no cost to me, and have done the same for two other blippers.
Regardless, I'm quitting while I'm ahead. This poor chap will be on eBay looking for a new home by the end of the week and I'll be resisting reading any more reviews of the G10...