ETQ Generator follow up

About year 2006, I bought an ETQ 1200 watt generator on Ebay. It was about $130 including shipping. I used it a couple times for a friend's power cut. Worked fine, to run an old furnace, with the big belt driven blower.
By now, it's got maybe 20 to 30 hours run time on it. I've not kept track. And now it's got a nasty knock. I had a friend listen, and he says it sounds like the piston rod is coming loose. I contacted some folks, and have a two cycle mechanic going to get back in contact with me in a day or two. Diagnosis, and estimate on repair.
I can get similar one on sale for 109.
http://www.harborfreight.com/900-peak800-running-watts-2-hp-63cc-gas-generator-epacarb-60338.html
900 watts, not the 1200 mine has. But close. What's a good reasonable "maximum repair cost" for a $130 generator? And if I replace it with the HF, should I get the extended warranty?
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Christopher A. Young
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On 5/5/2014 7:17 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

so as not to leave fuel in the carb. Of course, that means there was a moment at the end when there was no oil mix in the crank case. Wonder if that damaged the rod bearings? Should I have switched it off, and left gas in it? Be a shame if I killed my own engine that way.
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On Monday, May 5, 2014 7:17:27 PM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

If a $130 generator has a nasty knock, I think you already know what to do with it. And I hope the diagnosis/repair cost estimate is free.
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On 5/6/2014 10:58 AM, trader_4 wrote:

That's a real shame. It does run somewhat, if I start it on ether, and don't mind the noise. I may hang onto it for emergencies.
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On Tuesday, May 6, 2014 11:15:13 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Isn't that like hanging on to a leaking lifeboat with a rotten bottom?
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On 5/8/2014 11:36 AM, trader_4 wrote:

fire extinguisher bolted to the wall over the gas range.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 05/05/2014 07:17 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Actually, that's not too bad for an ETQ.
Did your friend use 2-cycle oil from the Dollar Store?
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