I don't really think you can call it a design flaw, if its part of the design it isn't a flaw. An imperfection you perceive but if thats how it comes from the factory and from the engineers then it isn't a flaw. A flaw would cause the system to not work as advertised/expected.
You can use the 1.1 upgrade, that makes a great performnace upgrade. The first patch was made to addressed performance issues but the second was just to fight piracy and network issues. Maxing out anisotropic filtering shouldn't make too much of a difference in your performnace though, you could probably leave it on 16x.
Here are some pics of a 1280x800 screenshot of GTA San Andreas stretched to 1440x900 and 1920x1200. Its not the same as the image the scaler in your computer would create, but its a good approximation.
1280x800 Stretched to 1440x900
1280x800 Stretched to 1920x1200
I just extended my warranty for 2 years and added complete care, so now I'm curious of the reliability of 9300 systems of forum users. Within what time span did you ever have your system repaired/replaced? Screen replacements shouldn't count thought, I'm only curious about hardware problems not cosmetic ones.