Scanners DO have a useful life. My first film scanner was the Microtek 35 (NOT the 35T), it was a three-pass RGB scanner that did well for the first year or so, but finally "ran out of gas".
My second scanner was a Nikon LS-20 internal. I liked the software, but the scanner NEVER scanned sharp. It was sent to New York twice for warranty repair, but it never lived-up to any Nikon standards that I have been used to over the years.
I have been using a Minolta Scan Speed for the past two-years, and guess what? It is running out of juice too, producing dark scans that are becoming difficult to correct with Photoshop 6, or any other image-editing program I have tried. (I don't want to hear about VUESCAN either, tried it several times, dumped it every time).
Next stop, either the Kodak RFS 3600 or the Polaroid SprintScan 4000 (also made by Microtek).
Don't get married, don't have kids, and you will have more money than you know what to do with...