We have 240 student and around 50 staff E5500's (all are early 2009, 84J service tag)
Several staff ones have had the broken hinge /lid issue , all have been on the RHS and all so far have been replaced under warranty.
Warranty runs out in 2 weeks though , I think we may get more in the future (no plans to replace them unfortunately)
Have to say - cracking laptops though in spite of this , just can't work out why it's staff ones that are affected ??
Doing my favourite thing of resurrecting a corpse of a thread....
I have a laptop with this fault:
Edit: Plastic case isn't broken, just the metal frame as in andy_nic's photo.
When I was dealing with this in my previous job, we got them through a Dell reseller - Northgate. Dell would also sell them direct if you were willing to pay by card over the phone, or were prepared to argue with your account manager to sort it out.