My quest for a three button optical mouse is finally over. Since three button mice are very common, you are probably wondering what the heck I'm blathering about. Read this. It explains the problem very clearly.
The HP DY651A mentioned in the article is not a common item found at your local computer hardware emporium. I also found that they are reluctant to special order small items like this as the margin is too small to make it worthwhile.
The mouse is available at several online mail order shops for around CD$25. "Available" is bit misleading since there is usually a 3-5 day wait because the item isn't actually in stock. I could live with the wait but the shipping charges at most places I checked where around CD$15 which basically turned me off the whole deal. Yes, I'm cheap. ^_^
NCIX, a B.C. mail order operation, recently opened a warehouse and two stores in Toronto. Unlike most Canadian mail order stores, NCIX offers pick up as a shipping option, which is ideal for cheap buggers like me. As expected, the mouse was a special order item and took about three days to arrive at the store that I chose for pickup. Curiously, the mouse is no longer listed on the NCIX web site. I suppose they decided it's not worth the trouble.
I'm glad I was able to retire my old mechanical three button mouse before it broke. I'm not sure exactly how old it was since I never bought it myself. I found it on a shelf at a customer about eight years ago and they said it was bought sometime in the mid 90s, so it's at least 15 years old. They let me have it since it was just junk to them anyway. I cleaned it up and it's been rock solid, but it was never going to last for ever.