this was finally all wrapped up. the notebooks that were damaged were 'fixed' with ethernet notebook cards, or usb-to-ethernet adapters. but that left damaged ethernet ports on an xbox 360 and a Netgear ReadyNAS. since i want to use Netflix streaming with the 360, i'll end up replacing it with a new one. in the meantime, i've just been using it with a wireless adapter. that left the ReadyNAS, which effectively became a brick without the ethernet port. Netgear refused to fix it, because it was out of warranty, even though i was willing to pay for repairs. i also didn't have any luck finding an electronics shop that gave me confidence they could repair it. plus it wont work with usb-to-ethernet adapters. so the only way to get to the data is move the drives over to my 2nd ReadyNAS (which still works). Netgear refusing to repair the device put me off ReadyNAS, so i'll ultimately move the data to a 2nd WHS device.
my home owners insurance would cover the lightning strike, although there is a $1000 deductible for personal property damages. since my claim would be less than that, there was no need to file. fyi, my rates would not have gone up since lightning strikes are not my fault ... disregard the lightning rods, kites, and blasphemy.
so that left filing a claim to APC. it took a while, and i had to ship 2 heavy UPS to them, and then it took even more time, but they did agree to pay the claim. also, one of my UPS was no longer supported, and they shipped me a newer replacement for free. i'm not sure about the 2 UPS that i just shipped them ... i'm wondering if i'll get the newer model back? anyway, APC earned a customer for life.
now i'm waiting for the next lightning strike. the main addition is a power cleaner on the outside of my house. so a surge should be stopped before it even gets in, or before it gets close to a data line. if a surge were to come in through the data line, then that should fry my cable modem 1st ... if it were to get through the data protection of an UPS before that. all my devices are still on a UPS (some of them newer models). finally, i have some additional data surge protectors (APC) between long runs of ethernets. so if a surge did get inside the house, and jumped to a data line, the damage should be localized to 1 room, instead of knocking out equipment all over my condo.