Sunday, March 9 - my Gold membership expired yesterday. Today, the code for three months of Gold worked! So did another code I'd bought for an additional year of Gold. However, the codes for the free games still won't work. I've replied to the email yet again, so we'll see if they make good.
If this lasts another 8 days, it'll be a full 3 months since this began.
Even though I have an XBox 360 already, I might just get the Slim version for the built-in Wi-Fi (because it's been a pain in the ass trying to hook up to XBox Live) and the larger hard drive. We'll see.