OK, I am a long time user of Thinkpads running Linux, starting with the 365XD, and upgrading to a 600X which I have been using since 2001.
Let me start off with a rant about the Thinkpad's BIOS. If the Trankpoint is enabled but broken, the BIOS refuses to boot with an error 8611. This error was such that it was impossible to enter the bios screen to set up the BIOS to disable the trackpoint. The system refused to boot at all; I finally got it to boot after pushing on the trackpoint during the boot process so that the BIOS would see the trackpoint; I then disabled the trackpoint, allowing subsequent normal booting.
I don't think a broken trackpoint is something that should stop the booting of a computer. I think it's poor bios design to have this be a fatal "I refuse to boot" condition.
And, yes, I have already bought a replacment keyboard on EBAY (with a good trackpoint) for about $20.