Now that my issues are seemingly over, a quick review:
1. screen is whiter than than KT. Contrast is good and the resolution is very good.
2. i really like the light. don't understand the dead pixels issue - i don't seem to have it. From the photos posted by the Amazon users, the Kindle PW seems to use the same tech. They're likely disappointed due to the hype (i.e. 4 years in the making) and that the previews and advertisements do not seem to look like their screens (kind'a like how my Big Mac doesn't look like the ads...). i would like a lower setting, however. i still found it too bright on its lowest setting when reading in bed (complete darkness).
3. very fast and sensitive. i barely touch the screen and the page turns. I think i coughed and the page turned...
4. covers do not seem to load as fast on the KT - when i change pages in my library (or go home), i usually only see 1 cover immediately and the others fill in. Same thing when i put the unit to sleep - i see a "placeholder" rectangle with the book's title first, and a half second later, the image fills in.
5. i really like that i did not need to hook it up to the Mac to initialize, similar to a Kindle. Setting up via Wifi much better.