Sony's VERY POOR customer service
I encountered very similar problems. I was connected to the phillipines, where after wanting to speak to someone higher up, I was connected to another person in the phillipines. They offered me a "huge" discount. Which that is all fine and dandy if I had money to buy one. But the overall princicple is that it is a problematic part that sony produced and recognizes, yet by chance for some reason you decided to randomly contact sony you would have no idea about the defective part or warranty. The customer service just kept telling me that is the only thing that they can offer. I feel very screwed as a sony customer, having paid over a $1000 for a TV that lasted only 4 years. Jesus, I barely just changed my lamp for the second time a day before.
Sony TV KDF50E3000