I've read this thread with great interest as I plan to buy a second hand 580EX or 580EX II, but am worried about the problems I've read about. The EX II has better features which the EX doesn't, but then again I haven't heard of any reliability problems with that model.
However, I don't
intend getting a Pocket Wizard and from what I've read so far it seems that if the 580EX II does start acting up with HSS etc it is usually fixed (and works reliably from then on) after replacing the xenon flash tube AND the IBGT transistor.
Since I'm comfortable with a soldering iron and electronic components (yes, I know about the high voltage risk, but once the batteries have been removed and the capacitor has been confirmed drained it should be no problem) I was wondering: are these two items regular off-the-shelf electronic components available from just about any electronics supplier at low cost or are they made to custom specs by Canon only making them hard and expensive to replace yourself?
I did check out the website
mentioned a few posts earlier, but this still doesn't include the IGBT (I know, Canon would simply replace the entire circuit board than desolder a damaged IGBT, which explains this, but I would be quite happy replacing just a single component instead).