I recently acquired my first LCD Monitor after years of using a 17" Sony Trinitron CRT. My son upgraded and gave me his less than two year old 19" Sony SDM-HS94P. Very nice for general computing, but not so for photos and photo editing. "Hot spots" of light are visible at the sides and to a lesser extent, the top and bottom of the display. This is especially noticable with darker or higher contrast images. My son says he's noticed this with all LCD monitors that he's used, though not as bad as with this Sony. It doesn't seem acceptable to me, and since it has a 3 year warranty, if this is truly a defect, I'd like to send it in for service. I don't see how this monitor could ever be accurately calibrated of photo editing.
What has your experience been with LCD monitors in general and have you any experience with this model? I seem to remember someone asking you about calibrating a Sony monitor, but I haven't been able to find the post, or article again. I think you stated that you didn't have very good luck with the Sony, but I'm not sure. If most Sony LCDs are this way, there's no point in sending in for service. Meantime I'll just return to using my trusty old Trinitron!
I did test a sony 20.1 inch about three years ago and it did reproduce a fairly even image across the screen, but did not reproduce color as well as the LaCie/NEC LCD's I also tested in that time frame.
Some, now older, even pro graphics models of LCD's from a couple of years ago did not have real even backlight, which is what you are referring to but usually not to as serious and overall affect as you described. Current pro graphics LCD's that I tested like LaCie/NEC, LG Electronics, Samsung, and Eizo designed for critical use (and higher priced) on the market today have very even backlight.
The Sony you are referring to is probably not "defective" but only intended for general computing that is not image quality critical. If you send it back all Sony could do is replace the cold cathode fluorescent tubes, which may even the backlit some, but may not even out the panel reproduction density entirely.
Currently if you can afford I would recommend only buying a name brand LCD and a model that is specifically designated and designed for pro graphics use.