First off, this 1995 model had the same problem that plagued iBook G4 and Powerbook G4 computers last week -- flaming batteries:
Even before the 5300 began shipping in quantity, it suffered a major engineering setback and PR disaster that is ironically seems ripped from the headlines in August 2006. The 5300 was originally designed to use lithium-ion (LiIon) batteries, but Apple did a recall and switched to Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) cells after two of the Sony-made LiIon batteries caught fire.
No consumer machines were damaged, but the switchover caused shipping delays and was a major embarrassment.
This will make you feel good about today's computer prices:
In addition to being the first PowerPC PowerBook, the 5300 also has the distinction of being the most expensive laptop Apple ever sold, with the top-end 5300ce model originally selling for a whopping $6,500!
Give the article a look -- it's well worth reading for old Mac aficionados.