Elpie: The replacement Paperwhite arrived from Amazon. It doesn't have a band of bright light on the side but the discolouration effect on the screen is even worse. This one has a decidedly pink tinge across the screen. Like the first one, I can't read it at all if the brightness level is below 18.
The combination of the blotchy screen, poor lighting, and bad font choices makes this unusable for me.
It was interesting comparing fonts between the Kindle Keyboard, the Touch, and the Paperwhite. The same settings on each device render very different font sizes and readability. The Paperwhite is definitely worse than either of the other two.
So, I'm back to square one. I need a reader but it looks like I will have to investigate alternatives to the Kindle.
Do you have a photo of the problem as it sounds a strange one. With e-ink, I don't use the light at all, as that is it's advatage over LCD screens, you light it like a book with a normal light. Although you can't turn the paperwhite light totally off, you can lower it to the lowest setting. If you want the screen lit, an ipad mini maybe a better option.