Thursday 3 May 2012: Well done Panasonic - @PanasonicDirect
After reluctantly paying for my camera to be cleaned again (second time in three months; first time while still under warranty), I received a very nice email from the manufacturers today offering to pay for the latest repair. I'm really pleased that they've agreed to do this.
What worries me more is how I'm going to keep my lovely little compact dust-free in the future - it lives in a case when it is not in my hands and I don't use it in dust-laden places. Keeping my fingers crossed!