If you haven't heard of them already, you might want to take a look at ifixit
, their guides are as good as the official Apple service manuals and they sell the parts for fairly reasonable prices (not usually as cheap as eBay, though). Looks like about $300 for a new LCD from them if your machine is a 15". It also looks like the actual procedure is not too bad - seems to be just a matter of removing lots of screws, which I can tell you is a breeze compared to trying to dismantle something like a recent model iMac.
All that said, I'm sure you'd rather not spend the money if you don't feel that it was your fault. Check up on your consumer protection laws, you might be surprised how much responsibility the supplier has for the quality of their products. When you phone Apple, ignore what they tell you about their policy - they do
have the power to make exceptions if you speak to the right person. Last time I had to deal with them I ended up going through the whole hierarchy of tech guys telling me that there was nothing they could do (they were being honest, I think - it seems that the technical staff really don't have the authority) before getting transferred to a customer service supervisor who sorted it out for me in five minutes as a 'goodwill gesture' (because I made it very clear that he was obliged to do so under UK law).