Anyway, I was talking to him, and said that I had no idea how this kept happening to my laptop ('this' being the hinges connecting the display to the laptop siezing and then shearing off), that I really didn't think that I was doing anything particularly odd to my laptop. He then told me that this problem is the hardware failure that he is sent to fix the most on this model of Dell.
*sigh* So, the goal now is to get a new laptop before service expires on this one. Fortunately, that's a year and a half out or so, so I have some time to save. I wonder if the service guy would be happy with me calling him and pumping him for info about the pros and cons and known problems with various laptops before I made a decision.