If you're using w7, you're doing it wrong. XP is a must for 01 unless you're trying to run 3 way or more. I did have some message trying xp 64 the other day, but i just hit ok or whatever it asked and then ran the bench.
Yea, you have option to do advanced rma instead of the standard procedure. They charge your card for the cost of the cpu and there is a non-refundable $25 charge or so. Then they overnight a cpu to you and include a return shipping label. I did rma on tuesday and cpu was waiting for me when i got home from work at 4pm weds.Well, only two 4770k. Both were legitimately non-working. I think one 4930k, a few 3770k.
I have a hard and an easy that I use and a mini that I've never used. Worth the money really depends. They're not really needed, but it's nice having the hardware mounted to something that isn't going to move. Cards don't lean over and if you have any water cooling, the tubing doesn't pull on stuff.
The fact that you have to buy additional mounting hardware and it already costs around $80, I wouldn't buy one. I like simple to use and simple to swap. I have a pair of xspc rasa gpu blocks that mount in a few minutes. No need to swap mounting hardware for different types of cards and it fits with QDC on any card that I own.