"I hope anyone out there contemplating buying a Toshiba might think again."
I think we need to get a couple of things straight.
First of all, it's unreasonable to suggest that others should 'think again' about buying a Toshiba laptop because of your one bad experience. Toshiba laptops are renowned for their reliability and build quality - I've had several, and not a trace of a problem with any of them.
Secondly, you say that you are fully aware of your rights under the Sale of goods act, but it doesn't seem to me that you are. Your purchase contract was with the retailer from whom you bought the machine - Toshiba has no obligation to you at all in this respect. Their contract was with the retailer, not with you.
You state that "For those of you who know – a replacement from the Retailer depends on the item being effectively rejected within a reasonable time. Their interpretation of a reasonable time – effectively rules this possibility out." Which isn't the situation at all. The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 came into force on 31st March 2003.
The regulations state that if a fault develops in your computer (in this case) within six months of the date of purchase it will be assumed that said fault existed at the point of purchase, unless the seller can demonstrate otherwise, and that you have the right in such a situation to require the seller to repair or replace the faulty goods, or to reduce the price of the goods by an appropriate amount (by way of refund), or to rescind the contract altogether.
Note that you do not have recourse to the manufacturer under consumer legislation - any dealings with the manufacturer are at your own risk.
Toshiba does not have a duty to replace your laptop under current consumer law, and any work which the company does on the machine is at its own discretion, and would only be carried out as a warranty repair.
You should have persevered with the seller, for it is the seller who is liable to you in law.