After thinking about it for a while, I decided that my best strategy was to pick up one of the cheap 27" Korean monitors and see how that worked out. If it worked well, then I got a shiny new monitor for less than $300, and my problem would be solved. It seemed that the worst case situation was that it would be usable but annoying, in which case I would use it as a second monitor and then buy a nice one.
Sunday evening I ordered an Achievia Shimian QH270-Lite from EBay. Sending $300 to some dude in Korea felt a little like doing a backroom deal, but what the heck... getting screwed out of that much money wouldn't kill me, though that didn't seem likely. This morning the monitor showed up in my office.
My review: the display is gorgeous. I see no stuck or dead pixels anywhere, and images are crisp and clear. Colors are rich. I haven't calibrated it yet, but intuitively the colors feel good. There's a little bit of backlight bleed at the edges, but it's minimal and it's in places where it won't affect me at all. The only controls are power and brightness, and both do what they're supposed to.
The stand is sketchy-- it works, and has tilt but not swivel, but it's not reassuringly solid. The monitor has VESA mounts, though, so I have plenty of options.
The power supply came with a Korean power cord, and there was a two-prong US adapter in the box. The power supply takes a standard power cord, though, so I just grabbed an extra out of my box o'cables and used it instead of the cord + adapter.
I'll know more after I use it for a few days, but overall I'm quite happy with the purchase.
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