First, let me give you some general advices.
Check the versions of your BIOS, Intel's chipset drivers, video BIOS and video drivers against Dell's site; either upgrade to to newer ones (if any), or report here and wait for further advice.
For troubleshooting purposes, you should keep your system in its pristine state as much as possible. Do not install hacked video drivers yet! I would even keep away from MS critical updates at this stage; also your favorite applications, since something could interfere with Windows. If you need to talk with Dell's tech support, saying that your system is clean could save you the trouble of reinstalling Windows.
Download I8kfanGUI and SpeedswitchXP fromhttp://www.diefer.de/indexe.html
Experiment with their settings (together with the BIOS options), and report your results.
Now, back to your display issues.
First, did you check for dead pixels and ghosting with MonitorsDirect?
Why do you say that "the ghosting is pretty bad"? Could you post some pictures taken with a camera? I am quite skeptical about users' report of ghosting while scrolling in Internet Explorer or dragging windows; anyway, you should connect an external LCD or CRT monitor to see whether such artifacts are due to your notebook's display. Similarly for DVD playing.
Frankly, up till now you have provided so little concrete information that I am not sure which of your issues are "psychological" (expecting too much from a first notebook) as opposed to "technical" (due to hardware or software failures). Just be patient, provide suitable feedback, and the users here will help.