I finally caved in and decided to splurge on a PS3 due to it having several series I like and got one for $80 at my local gamestop. It wound up being a CECHA01 model and I have yet to plug it into anything due to lack of time. It will be on a shelf with my two other consoles (wii and 360) and I don't know how worried I should be about any sort of issues dealing with cooling/thermal paste or even how easy/worth it to hack it (I don't have a PSN account either). Since I am a bachelor's level IT student, I know I should be able to go into the hardware and apply new thermal paste if I need to, but I generally don't want to mess with hardware if I don't have to. I don't even to what ends gamestop does to systems during the refurbishment process. I feel that getting a CECHA01 model was definitely worth $80 considering that I've been looking into PS2 emulation. Any advice/information you guys are willing to part with would be awesome. Thank you and have an awesome day.