Modern consoles, starting with the PS3, are not like that due to "security methods" hard coded into the motherboard and drives, which is absolutely ridiculous. The better to sell more consoles, or charge exorbitant repair costs.
Unfortunately, mine had a system board failure (most likely due to a botched repair on my part coming back to bite me a year later).
Luckily, if it's a chip failure, that can usually be fixed by someone in the know. I found a great little business here in my area (Simcoe County).
It's called Revamp Repairs, run by Rob Weller. He does it all on the side, and he does a hell of a lot more work than a lot of the brick-and-mortar places do. You can reach him by phone at 705-716-8007 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He stands very firmly by his work; he'll guarantee his repairs for a full year. If he can't fix it, there's no charge to you.
That said, if any of you would like to post your favoured repair business, please do. I think they'd greatly appreciate the recommendation and exposure!