my replacement came today and i'm just going to keep it. it's far from perfect (as every paperwhite seems to be) but i think i can live with it. it's a little more colorful than my first one but at least it doesn't have any white pixels. the top half of the screen seems darker to me than the bottom half as well but i'm not going to gamble again and possibly get a worse unit. it does have a black dot at the top of the screen that won't wipe away but i can try to get used to it.
the best part was it was not a refurb