Warranties are fairly straight forward whether you are buying a TV, car or a pocket knife. Extended warranties and the nuances of repair vary a bit. In general:
What is covered - "Normal" use by a rational person. A pocket knife is designed to cut things.
What is not covered - Abuse, neglect, customer disassembly (arguably "abuse" since you aren't an employee of the manufacturer), wear items.
*If a knife rusts that is considered neglect as it's a slow and preventable peril.
*If you snap the tip off that's considered abuse simply as you have exceeded the threshold of the tool's intent whether by intention or not.
*Wear items would include abrasion of scales or blade steel (windshield wiper blades and tires aren't covered by a vehicle warranty either). If your handle scales aren't finished properly the W&R department should be able to determine if it's been in your pocket for weeks or simply wasn't finished as well as some. Typically (unless fitting within the spectrum of QC) I would think your knife could be exchanged for a better specimen assuming expectations are in-check for a production folder.
This said, Spyderco can (and does) step beyond the lettering of the warranty and take care of customers frequently. Even customers who (IMHO) don't deserve it. That's what makes them a good company.
If someone sees a warranty as a potential bucket of phobias and a way to get screwed by the maker they should find a company they trust and go that route instead. It's easier to sleep at night knowing you have advocates in the world. I'm not referring to the original poster, just a general statement.
PS: Obviously I'm not an a Spyderco employee nor are many on this forum. I have worked a number of customer service jobs and this is my observation of how faulty products are handled almost universally. Just because Costco and Nordstroms will smile and take back anything doesn't mean that's the norm...they often just have a specific understanding with their suppliers. Ie: the "our way or the highway" clause.