My Paperwhite arrived yesterday. I was a little apprehensive, after seeing the variety of reviews on MR. I can see the shadows at the bottom from the LEDs, and a little half-inch strip of brightness on the bottom left, as some others have reported. After reading a little on it yesterday afternoon, and over an hour on it last night (in the bedroom, in the mostly-dark) I can honestly say I don't notice any of that. I can also see a little ghosting on occasion (Page Refresh turned on), but that again isn't a real distraction.
Compared to my Kindle Fire, I find the light controls much easier to use, and I really prefer this light to the backlit KF, and prefer either of those hugely over the booklight I was using with my K3. The length of the page is shorter on the PW than on the Fire, but I'm sure I'll adjust to that.
No noticeable blotchiness on mine, other than that briefly attributable to ghosting. It's either not present on mine, or it's something that my eyes are not sensitive to.
It's a PW with Wifi & SO, serial number starts with B024 1501, firmware 5.2.0.
Looking forward to shopping for a case today.