I'm not an expert with either MBPs or OSX Leopards (Snow or not) but from reading your post it strikes me as being more a series of issues with which other owners of MBPs running a series of OSX versions might be more familiar, and therefore receive more specific attention on the MBP hardware forum. If you post a request here we can ask it be moved there.
They could probably also give you an idea as to how much it would cost to get the drive replaced since it would be read by owners of MBPs.
Well your hardware determines your choice
1: Leopard - computer runs fine
2: Snow Leopard - reduced battery life (can be fixed)
3: Lion - crashes.
I've got the same machine as yours and this is what I did
A backup of files, a complete erase and "fresh install" method on 10.5, update, then upgraded to 10.6 and updated to 10.6.8 (remain there) install programs and last of all, performance robbing files returned last, in that specific order to maintain performance.
Fresh install gives you a new software, 10.5 is needed for the free iLife, 10.6 offers graphics speed improvements, I think your battery life will be back to normal with the fresh install.
Far as Lion goes, just leave that sick kitty alone for the next hardware upgrade cycle.
I've put a wealth of information all in one post here, knock yourself out.
Also consider a SMC reset, could be related to your battery issue as well
Wow, that's a very comprehensive post! Excellent job, ds store. You deserve a Woz medal. I'm not kidding.
Thankfully, I did exactly what you told me to do. I made a fresh install from Lion to Leopard and used Carbon Copy Cloner to backup all my files. Then, I erased my Mac using Disk Utility followed by a clean install with Leopard. The operation was a success.
I've been using Leopard for a week now but you've convinced me to upgrade it back to Snow Leopard. I will do it today and also commence a SMC reset as well. Currently, my battery life reads:
Do you think there's a chance for it to heal using the SMC reset?
What do you think of my CD drive? Did you have this problem too? What should I do?
>Service Battery issue and other problems?
If by service battery you mean the PRAM battery, that's an operating system indepenent issue, that if not resolved with a new one, will cause various peripherals and components to appear to fail when it starts running out of juice. Normally doesn't start until a machine is 4 years old, but depending on use, or lack thereof, shelflife can shorten that period. Some operating systems are more sensitive to its being close to the end of its life than others.
If you mean the battery that provides power when you are off the mains, a series of batteries have been known to bulge, due to an industry espionage that happened a few years ago. Shop around your local authorized service providers to find out if any will replace yours free because of this known issue. A few people have found they still can get their's replaced.
Chrome may crash if you have a network issue such as a router that is not in sync in firmware with the operating system presently installed, and so may other applications. If you start getting a four language screen that you must restart now, and no attached peripherals, you may have a RAM issue, which again some operating systems can be more sensitive than others*:
As your portable is an older MacBook Pro with a removable battery, you should calibrate the battery from time to time following the instructions here --> http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1490
Section: PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD), MacBook (all models), and MacBook Pro (all models) )
If you have the money (appr. $30), you may speed up your Pro by adding some memory. For the Snow Leopard 4 GB is a pretty good amount on normal usage.