I'm not sure what the best way to deal with this is. Perhaps I'll bring it in to work and try to convince one of the hardware engineers to have a look at it. If I can find a replacement part for the existing power receptacle, and a replacement can be soldered in, that would be great. Otherwise, even if I had a short power lead hanging out of the laptop and a new pair of connectors between the power brick and the laptop, that would be okay too. There's nothing wrong with this laptop except the annoying power connector.
Some of you will undoubtedly suggest, "buy a MacBook!" I've thought about it, but they cost a small fortune here and I don't know whether I'm ready to give up Windows on my primary desktop just yet. Then again, I mostly use my laptop as a web browser and SSH terminal, there's very little Windows-specific stuff I actually use. It's just a matter of familiarity.