Sadly, I no longer have AppleCare on this machine.
It makes sense that they replaced your entire display; I believe the backlight and LCD are a sealed unit, unable to be separated. (If I recall correctly, they're actually manufactured sandwiched together.)
Any idea what a fix would cost, seeing as I lack AppleCare?
I hope your issue isn't as bad as mine was and you get away cheap. (Judging from Genius reaction, I'd guess that mine was quite unusual.)
Here's Apple's breakdown:
LCD Panel $226.14
Inverter Board 32.95
Inverter Cable 6.82
Labor 39.00 (Edit 1: Same $39 for Inverter Board & Cable only.)
You're correct about the manufacture of the LCD Panel; the Genius I asked told me that the display and backlight are a single unit.
The thing I find most unusual about this incident is that I've now had an iBook G3, an iBook G4, and this MacBook, and, although the three have been handled most gently and have left my house a grand total of once
other than to be repaired, each one has required under-warrantee repairs that exceeded what I paid for its insurance, while others travel the world with their Macs, treat them more or less roughly, and never need repairs. Go figure!
And, finally, I can't help but wonder whether this episode was the culmination of the series of events I first reported here
despite the fact that Apple's having replaced my fan seemed to have put an end to those issues?
Edit 2: Is it possible that my new display is brighter than my old one? It certainly appears to be.