Thanks again to everyone who weighed in on the screen issue. I think I'm keeping it. I rarely notice it now while reading. I'll be ordering the Amazon branded cover one of these days.
It is unfortunate that Amazon failed to deliver the top product for this round in the eink/ereader evolution. But they continue to be the company to beat in terms of content, ecosytem, and customer service. The nearest competitor (at least for someone like me who lives outside the US) is Kobo. But as mentioned here, the reviews of their front-lit device are also not that great. So I'll keep my Paperwhite for now.
There is a feeling of deja vu here for me. I had the DXG and chose the Nook Simple Touch as my portable device over the seasoned Kindle Keyboard. The NST gave me nothing but frustrations up until two months ago when they released a firmware update which somehow fixed all my issues (except for purchasing content from their store). My girlfriend has the Kindle Keyboard and she always calls out my look of envy every time we have our ereaders out. And when it was time to update again I chose the Paperwhite over the Kobo Glo. I hope I made the right decision.