The Samsung met its "write death" on Aug 20, so I figured I would check it again for readability on September 20. I plugged the drive in and powered up my computer, but neither Windows nor the BIOS could see the Samsung SSD. I tried rebooting a couple times to no avail.
Then I powered down and disconnected the SSD, and brought it to another computer with an eSATA port and an external SATA power connectors. Disaster! When I went to plug in the power to the SSD, my hand slipped and bent the connector sideways, snapping off the plastic ridge of the SATA power connector. The metal pieces are still there (and still soldered to the PCB), but they are not stabilized by the plastic ridge. I found that it is still possible to get the SSD to power up by working a SATA power connector onto the metal pieces at the right position (they have a warp/bend to them that actually helps a little), but I am not certain that they are all making contact. But it is enough that when I "hot plug" the SSD, Intel RST notices something, although it never manages to mount the SSD.
I've been contemplating trying to repair the connector, but I have not yet come up with a good plan. Possibly I can super-glue the plastic ridge back on, but it is going to be difficult to get it lined up properly I think (it is in two pieces). I'm also thinking about trying to solder another SATA power connector on (if I can salvage one from a dead HDD), but there is a lot of solder there and if I get it hot enough to desolder, I am worried I might disturb some of the other components on the SSD PCB. So I haven't done anything yet.
Actually, if anyone reading this is experienced at this sort of thing, and would like to contribute to this thread, I'd be happy to send the SSD to you for repair and then you could keep it (if you are willing to try the read-only tests yourself), or send it back, whichever works best for you.