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I can solve this by not solving it. First I tried reset the unit to default settings: hold down the power, page, and enter buttons at the same time, a message, "do you really wan to reset..." will appear. Select "yes." If the unit reboots, hurrah. If not, call tech support (1.800.800.1020). Get an RMA, send it back to them for repair. I had purchased mine over 30 days ago but less than 60: Amazon wouldn't replace it, Garmin will either replace or repair. If you want them to send a new unit while the old is in transit, just ask; they will charge and then credit a card once they have the old unit is in hand. Good luck.
Try updating the unit software. A new satellite was launched this year and has been causing problems. The updates from Garmin fix it. Disable the WAAS in the meantime and see if that solves the problem in the meantime.
The unit comes with a base map. You will need to purchase City Navigator software if you want more detailed maps which will show all roads. If the box contained a copy of the City Navigator and you threw away the code, you'll have to purchase another unlock code from Garmin.
11-08-07 I had the same problem with an etrex Vista. I spoke with Garmin, they said that a recently launched WAAS satellite is interferring with some models (he mentioned it is the models with a black and white screen). Garmin tech support said that they're working on a software patch but for the meantime switch WAAS off.
Call Garmin tech support with any questions or to find out about the software patch, 1-800-800-1020