After powering the laptop I do not get anything at all on the screen, BIOS, light, nothing. I have tested the hard drive in another computer and bootable Linux cd's, but either on the HD or the CD there is just the initial spin up, I to not hear any activity after the first few seconds.
I don't understand. You pulled the hard disk drive (HDD) out of the laptop and tested it on another computer. Then what? Were you able to access your files when your HDD was installed on the other computer? (Caution: never try to boot the OS on a transplanted drive like this, it can really mess up drivers, etc.)
The laptop won't boot either with the (original Vista OS?) OS on the HDD or by using a bootable Linux CD?
Sounds like more than just a power button issue to me, but can't be sure at this point.
The number and timing of any beeps might be a clue. Please look at what hamluis posted and post back with what you find.