This policy is one of the reasons that Microsoft is going to fail. I pre-ordered two Surfaces - with the intention of keeping both if we LIKE them. We have no reason to think we won't and what risk do we have anyway? 30 day return policy. But that is UNOPENED and UNUSED. In the next few days Microsoft will make an announcement and change the return policy on the Surface. There is no way that Ballmer is all in with Windows 8 and the Surface and doesn't have enough confidence to let people take them home and see if they are a fit.
Where do you see UNUSED?
The language of the return policy says: " provided the item has not been opened or altered from its original state and does not show wear or damage" (emphasis mine). That is, provided the item you purchased has not been opened or altered. It does not say provided the box or shipping materials have been unopened or altered. I think it's pretty clear that Microsoft does not want and will not accept returned items where the item, i.e. Surface or Xbox or mouse, has been physically opened and altered or moded or dropped repeatedly on the floor and stomped on.