Well, it turns out I was wrong. I know, I know... it happens.
If I shine a very bright flashlight on the screen, I can still see that everything is operating just fine. So I believe that's a cheaper fix, IIRC.
I'm going to get the laptop fixed. It's worth it to me. I'm pretty good with backing up my stuff, so if the hard drive dies in a month, I'll just buy a new laptop then.