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Inspiron 1501 Monitor Issues

I have two different (perhaps related) monitor problems on my Inspiron (MS Vista).

1.  The LCD display is now very dark.  I damaged it on a trip and it was packed in a suitcase which was banged around and ransacked by TSA doofuses.  That'll teach me.  Is it worth buying a replacement display?  Could the problem be with the display card?

2.  I have an external monitor which only works if I hit FN-F8 while the laptop is booting.  And once I'm running there is only one display detected, the default!  When I direct the pc to detect the external monitor it comes back with 'none found.'  This is obviously wrong because I'm running on the external monitor when doing this.  Is this related to problem 1?  Is this laptop just a piece of junk?  I'd like to salvage it.

Any thoughts, advice?

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