Too right Marilynne. I gave up on Dell after two relatively new Inspiron laptops died on me for no apparent reason. Dell used to be a cut above the rest, but no longer - far too unreliable. I've gone for Lenovo this time - they're not perfect by any means, but seem to be more reliable.
"It's like me telling my patients to start their own IVs .." - nice one. I hope you won't mind me stealing that bon mot!
I have been working with Dell since April now trying to get the issue fixed on an Inspirion that I purchased in January and, due to illness, did not get set up and start using until April. They replaced the keyboard, but the second one did the exact same thing. Ran several more tests and eventually took it down completely and reinstalled the OS. Finally, have everything reinstalled and it hasn't changed a thing. Still skipping spaces and duplicating letters. Just cheap junk! My first and last Dell product.