Just ask them.
Even if apple doesn't replace the disk for free there is only a small nominal charge for replacements. All you need is your machine's serial number.
Note, if the optical drive is damaging the dvd's you might want to get apple to look at that anyhow. Don't know what that would cost for the labor. Optical drives themselves are fairly cheap.
As for loosing your HDD's. Yes, it's good to have backups. But it's even better if you have two backups.
A little late, but I wanted to say thank you!
- Known "defect" with the Super Drive: the opening some how is not formed correctly/loses shape which is fixed with a plastic tool (readily on hand at the Apple Store to be used by an Apple Employee). This cause a minor scratch in the disk...
- Under warranty: Apple fixed Super Drive opening and replaced the interal component just to be on the safe side.
- Went ahead and purchased the Apple Care (it came in handy a few months later as the screen had to be replaced because of heat displacement causing color bleeding in the upper-left corner of the display -- per Apple employee this is where most of the heat is generated...).
- Recently wanted to do a "fresh" install, don't ask why, and same problem with a new replacement disk; however, after I updated the OS (Pre 10.8, just a regular updated on the what every originally came with it), the new disk worked great!
All-in-all, it was a top notch expereince.
Funny story: Had my better half go pick it up from the Apple Store for me. He is an Android fan, got rushed by Apple staff and pulled out his Droid RAZR MAXX. LOL! Said they all vanished like smoke! Wish I could have been there to see that! Then the Apple employee made a special effort and ask him to convey how much the Apple Care saved me (with a little bit of an attitude).
Why is this funny? Becuase it was still under the manfacture's warranty and would have been replaced without the Apple Care! LOL!
But hey, If I can't get my answers in the forums or online...I have no problem and calling them. For a "new" user, I would reccomend it, if it is in you budget. Great products, great support.
Thanks again X!