I have read that, usually, the lights on a pre-lit tree are good for about 3 years, so, if any of you is considering buying one, keep that in mind. Also, pre-lit trees are quite a bit more expensive. I bought a 7 1/2 ft pre-lit at a yard sale a few years ago for $50. The owner said it was 3 years old, but turns out it was a few years older than that. Last year, there were at least several bulbs burned out. I guess I will be crossing my fingers when I put it up this year.
Jana, I'm sorry this happened to you. Like someone else said, I would have thrown a major tantrum having to go through all that.
and, I am another one who does it 'the old fashioned way' by swearing while going around and around the tree. I am SO glad to know I am not alone, lol. (I got the pre-lit just to eliminate some of that, but I always add some lights anyway.)
anyway, any time I am looking to get a pre-lit, you can bet I will not pay full price. I will either buy another one from a yard sale, thrift store, or else buy a new one that is majorly discounted in an after Christmas sale.