Got my PW yesterday (which is actually a gift for my Mom). I also didn't see any blotchiness and yes, there are slight shadows on the bottom, but they didn't bother me after a few pages. The lighting is adjustable so that you can match it to your current lighting conditions.
The only thing, so far, that I didn't like about the PW is that the lighting decreases the contrast in the text. Not a big issue for those of you with normal eyesight, but a huge deal for someone who has retina damage like me. Also, although the PW has 6 typestyles, the best one was the standard one, which is only so so. So, the Nook Simple Touch still wins on that score - more typestyles to address those who have vision issues. The Nook Glow doesn't affect the density of the contrast.