Well sh1t. What do you know, the "part" came in and there is no way to know if it's new or not. Most likely it is new since the model is so new that refurbished screens coming in from customers is not likely, but there is supposedly no way to be 100% sure. They will be at my house tomorrow to swap the plasma panel into my existing set.
Once again, Abes of Maine is not to be trusted. I did not buy the set online. I bought it on the phone by talking one on one with a sales person about the set, what was included, and verifying I would be covered if the set arrived defective in any way. The set came to me defective. I noticed and called within 2 business days, and they refused to accept it back. They wouldn't even go talk to the sales rep who promised me they'd swap the set free of charge if *anything* was wrong with it. They robotically quoted their "policy" of ONLY replacing sets with cracked glass as if having an unposted policy (since I didn't buy online, and the guy told my a completely different "policy") somehow entitled them to feel smug about sticking me with merchandise that was defective on arrival. Whatever. They don't even list the set on their site anymore. At this point, I honestly have more faith in the quality of the replacement panel from the repair company than I do in Abes of Maine to send me a legitimate replacement set even if they said they would.