This was actually the best present I could get (3 rings), I took my box into Microcenter (I had taken out their extended service plan), they said sure, we will swap it out. Then one of their salesmen came over and asked me why I didn't want to swap it for an Elite - surprised I asked if that was possible - and it was.
All I had to pay was the incremental cost (about $70) over the price of my original Xbox purchase, and I have a brand new Elite at home.
The Elite is quieter than the previous unit.
Alls well that ends well...