According to Mac OS X's System Info, the battery is doing quite well:
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Full charge capacity (mAh): 4563
Cycle count: 296
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 0
Voltage (mV): 12428
Real life disagrees, however. The battery will power the computer for exactly three seconds, then fail. It doesn't matter whether it's completely charged or not. Lately, it's taken to occasionally not working at all. When you unplug the AC adapter, it immediately shuts off. Not good.
I've looked at a bunch of support sites that recommend resetting the System Management Controller and recalibrating the battery... none of them work.
So, Help Desk, should I just bite the bullet and shell out $70 for a new battery?