Now I am a serious cheapskate when it comes to buying anything but I do like "nicer" things and this fits into that category. So my questions are:
1) Does MF has a decent service center here in the US?
2) If so how good/bad are they?
3) And lastly, at what point does this go from being a deal to a money pit, in other words, what should I cap my spending at?
There's no guarantee that anything is wrong at all. It could simply be a bad tube. If you have to send it to a service center, though, it's not going to be worth it. The final cost would be close to what you would have paid for a new one. That one is for someone who wants to gamble it's the tube, or who has enough knowledge to do the repair himself.