The Dreaded Steering Click

My early 2002 Cooper has been relatively trouble free save for one nagging issue – an inconsistent click in the steering column when I turn the wheel. For over a year I've patiently observed the click get worse but was always reluctant to bring it to my dealer's attention until it was a very obvious issue. Well, over the past couple of months it's become more obvious. So at this point I've made a couple trips to my local dealer to have the sound diagnosed (or at least corroborated) and we're now waiting for the regional MINI rep to give us the okay to take some action.

I haven't posted on MotoringFile previously about this issue but a recent thread on MINI2 made me realize that there are probably more than a few out there that have the same problem and aren't sure what to do or what action to take. So if you're hearing a pop or click when you turn the steering wheel in your MINI let's hear about it. If you've successfully had your steering rack replaced or some other related service, how did you go about getting it done? What advice to you have for others out there with this issue?

Note: Let's try to keep comments for this post solely on the steering click issue.