For a couple of weeks now my backspace key has only been working sporadicly, being frightened that I might hammer they key to atoms, I decided to try and clean it. First I found the service manual of my Dell Inspiron 1300, and pulled out the whole keyboard, only to realize, that I was unable to tear it apart like a normal keyboard. The plastic parts had some pins going through the metal baseplate, these had then been melted flat to keep the thing together. If I pulled these "weldings" apart, I would never be able to assemble the thing again.
In this case google wasn't a friend, since it was only concerned with "sticky" keys, and I do not use sugar in my coffee.
I had an editor running, so that I could see the key, slowly began working. I then replaced the plastic part, and the button, and it is working again!