I posted yesterday about how my new green laser might be defective. As it turned out, this may not actually be the case.
The beam was even dimmer today than it was the day before. However, that changed when I replaced the Duracell Coppertop batteries with Duracell Ultras. The laser is now able to sting my skin and light matches as expected. This was rather unexpected given that both types of cells have the same voltage.
It's still too early to tell whether the laser is bad. Just because it's performing well right now doesn't mean the power won't drop again. All I can do is wait and see what happens.
I do hope the issue was with the batteries and not the laser itself. If that's the case, then the only problem is that good batteries are expensive. Some hobbies just aren't cheap. :-(