What to do when a crucial piece is in the shop?

This year, for me, October has been the cruellest month. My front projector went out. My High Def VCR went out. My HT pre-pro went out. My HT power amp went out. They have been in the shop for varying periods of time.

On some items, I suffered through it. On others, I had a substitute on hand I could press into service. On still others, I bought an inexpensive, used temporary substitute off eBay. Secure in the knowledge I could turn around and sell it after the original returns.

So what do you do when the repairman cometh? Tough it out and get grouchier by the day? Press a subsitute into service? Use it as an excuse to upgrade?
I just listen to the garage stereo more, which of course means I get to spend more time out there. I always appreciate the main rig more after I've been unable to have a listen & fortunately it doesn't happen that often.
You could view it as an opportunity to acquire a new skill; learn a new language, become an airplane pilot, write a novel, clean up your bedroom, etc. ;-)
I am sort of on the same boat. I accidentally tripped on my speaker cable and damaged the driver that the cable is connected to since I hardwire the cable directly to the driver. And, just before that, the AC socket on my transport/cd player broke probably a result from testing out numerous powercords. Well, I am using an older pair of speakers that I am actually selling now and using an old dvd player as transport in the mean time. They actually sound pretty good still.
I just take long elevator rides. The sound reminds me of my favorite pair of full-range single driver speakers and it makes me smile.

So, if you are ever in LA and see a middle aged smiling man loitering in/around an elevator telling people to shoosh, chances are that part of my rig's in the repair shop.
I have a somewhat expensive but useful option for the future, keep two systems active:
-reference system with your best stereo gear
-smaller cheaper 2nd system, can be just small integrated amp and monitor speakers for stereo. Same principal applies to video/HT since almost everyone has more than one TV in house.

Many advantages here:
-very helpful/easy finding problem in main rig if you can swap out each piece with gear in system 2
-can break in cables/new gear in system 2 without tying up reference system for this choir.
-gives you luxury of trying different combinations/types of gear paired together.

Sorry to hear of you current problems and hope everything is resolved soon.
Do you want to trade problems? What would you do if your house burned down in a forest fire?
I can't figure it out either. This week I had the most bitchin' week ever. I know what it's like when you have problems with the best equipment. I was really cranking with the Yamaha receiver. All of the sudden, I was like "whoa." I blew both drivers in my really expensive speakers ($400 pair of Bose!) I am saving up my money to go to radio shack and get replacements. In the meantime, I found my grandfather's pair of Sears speakers. They are just not audiophile speakers though, and I am really disappointed.
I guess Im in the same boat with Kinsekd.My BAT vkp-5 took a dump a 10 days ago I sent back to BAT to get fixed with a upgrade. So now I listen to my wife, well maybe that`s not true if I listened to her in the begining I wouldn`t have all this stereo stuff thus the vkp-5 would not be at BAT because I would not own it, now that`s a catch 22. David