Well, I finally took the plunge and got myself a 17"PB yesterday from the brand new Apple Store here in Seattle. I really have not had very good dead pixel karma in the past with PB's. (This being my third after a Pismo and a TiBook 667)
The Pismo developed an entire column of bright green pixels a couple of days after purchasing it. Apple did a swap and it was perfect up till the day I parted with it. The TiBook was perfect at the store. It developed one stuck, very bright blue pixel, right in the middle of the screen when I got home. Needless to say, I was pissed. 8 months later, the screen developed a very minor flicker and I got yet another freebie from Apple and got a brand new screen, dead pixel free!
Fast forward to the present. Needless to say, I was really expecting the worst this time round. The 17" was perfect at the store. I even performed a dead pixel check. Of course when I got home, there was one 'slightly' dead pixel right in the middle of the screen. I think the green transistor was dead since it could only turn purple on a white background. Well, that's just typical I thought, but it really wasn't bad enough to annoy me. Today, the DVD drive decided to keel over. It works on everything except DVD video discs. Once the DVD Player starts up, the entire PB would freeze. A perfectly reproducible issue even after removing plists and reinstalls.
I take the PB back to the Apple store and get a brand new machine. I thought to myself, "OK, there is no way in hell I'm walking out of this store without totally testing (as best I can) the PB out". The next PB I open up had 7 dead pixels that were visible right on the startup screen before I even got to the pixel tests!
I think the staff were getting a little tired of me by then. I spoke to the manager and she got me yet another one.
By that time I was so psyched on dead pixels, I started seeing dead ones in place of dust on the screen. I think the manager freaked when I told her I saw yet more dead pixels. Third time's a charm as they say and I have the perfect PB. Everything's working absolutely perfectly with nary a dead pixel in sight.
It's an amazing machine despite the ordeal. The staff at the store were amazing and they made the entire affair enjoyable and something to laugh at. I think that very often, being nice about something gets people a lot further than being nasty and threatening.