Definately worth the money if you can't decide this or PS3
I bought th Xbox 360 Premium when it was only this or the "arcade" version, I have two friends who have endured the "ring of death" - but mine has always been fine (perhaps I'm lucky or because I use it in moderation not 24/7 like they do).
Theres a huge choice of games, and the welcome screen is much more user friendly since the launch of the PS3.
If you're a hardcore gamer & would play & complete lots of games and come back to play them later then go for the Xbox 360 Elite (much more memory) and the graphics are only slightly better.
Don't fear the "Ring of death" like any piece of electrical equipment it will do you well and last - but play it every hour of the day and like anything it will wear alot quicker!
A must have is to subscribe to xbox live - so much better to play other people instead of AI! Coming up against people that are smarter than you, thicker than you, and have the same strategies as you!
I'd buy this console & Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, subscribe to xbox live & happily only ever play this! Never gets boring and always thousands of players online - no matter what time you go on!