I've just been given the same story from Nintendo here in Aus. My console has a fault, but when I bought it, I also got an extended 2 year/replacement guarantee from the store (EB Games) so - once they get new consoles in, they’ll replace mine for me. Rang Nintendo to see how to transfer my VC Games - was basically told "Bad Luck!". Exact quote was "No - you can't transfer them. That is why we don't recommend getting extended warrantees as the end user will be out of pocket if something goes wrong". Excuse me? I didn't see anywhere on the box saying "Don't get extended warrantees as it'll cost you!", nor have I ever seen this in an add anywhere!!!
So - in a few years when your console dies, and it's cheaper to get a new one than to get it fixed - tough luck - you've just lost all the VC games you ever bought.