As someone who's worked at an Apple Authorised Repair Centre, I can safely say that even if Apple won't publicly extend the warranty to 3 years, like they did in the 2007/2008 extended warranty, they will fix your problem.
As you say, the incidence of problems is low, a repair probably would have been fine, although Apple have often chosen to replace such machines, especially in a case where they are going through their stock of repair parts quickly. If the issue is as big as people claim, this is going to happen.
Getting 10,000 signatures doesn't mean there's 10,000 affected customers. They shift a lot of these units, and TBH, many of the people who will try and claim that they are effected by this issue, have a different problem, or a different model. I went through the 2008 issue, and loads of people brought in their "2008" machines, with "the same issue, the one with the graphics card". Some of them didn't even have the effected chipsets, and the problem was something else (like a cracked screen). One of the reasons the 2008 thing took so long to resolve, is that nVidia lied to apple (and their insurers) about the failure rates. For each claim on the 2008 extended warranty, we had to run a particular peice of software to dump out a file, and submit it to Apple, specifically so nVidia would honour the warranty repair. This was unheard of at the time.
Any perceived systematic failure of Apple hardware, generates crazily loud response. For some reason, people love jumping on board. I think in this case, Apple would have given certainly quicker service, and likely a similar outcome. If you go to an Apple Authorized Repairer, they will know whether this is a frequent issue, and they can tell you to complain loudly about the offer of repair, or not.
Like I said, you've already got a great result. But the media generates quite a negative view of Apple, when in my experience doing repairs for them, they really went the extra mile to make sure people got a great result. I haven't worked in that field since 2009 though, so maybe it's all got a lot worse in the intervening time?