This story is actually good news, at least for me.
A few years ago, we used to shop at a "returns" store that handled a little bit of everything. One day while browsing thru the junk I found a couple of Palm IIIx boxes with lots of packing tape on them. I asked the clerk what was wrong with them, and he took out the top one and read the card attached; "Woman complained that the palm went thru batteries in just 2 or 3 minutes. After testing a number of sets of new batteries she returned the unit." They had tested it, and found that it worked, but made no guarantees about battery life! They had priced it at $200, I believe they were selling for $349 at the time. I bought it instantly, and it served me well until recently, when I upgraded to a Palm IIIxe and passed "the palm that killed batteries down" to my wife.
In case any of you don't know... the palm turns itself off after 2 minutes (more or less depending on your configuration). The woman who returned it never tried the power button again, she just replaced the batteries.