I now have a clear, concise answer: Get a Kindle.
Two days ago, I decided to recharge my Reader. It's been about a month since I last used it (I've been reading "actual" books), and the book I'd like to read next is one that I only possess in electronic form. To this end, I plugged the Reader into my computer using a USB cord. Yesterday, I opened the Reader Library program to make sure that the book I want to read is there, and...it wasn't aware that the e-reader was even attached.
Long story short, my e-reader is effectively bricked. When I unplug it from the computer, the display remains frozen on the "USB connected" screen. The only way to get rid of this screen is to perform a soft reset (hard reset doesn't work). A soft reset takes me back to the "Starting up" splash screen, where it once again freezes.
I spent a fair bit of time last night combing the internet, trying out all of the various fixes that people had proposed - nothing worked. Today, I contacted Sony Support. After spending about half an hour in an electronic chat with a tech who walked me through all of the steps that I'd gone through last night, I was informed that my "Reader requires service."
I went to Sony's Service page, and found that the only "service" available for my device is an exchange program. An exchange program that would cost me $99.00.
I spent $275 for this Reader, and all I get is a year of use?