If Doc knows anything about laptops it is more than me.
A display costs ~$165 and motherboard is ~$300 (with ATI graphics) and any servicing probably costs at least $100.
Capacitors are still a possibility. Reducing the brightness of the display may allow you to reach the desktop. Note whether any flicker or sharp changes occur. The newer Safe Mode screen has little illumination except for a minimum of items with 16 colors. The brighntness may only be controlled by software that isn't available in Safe Mode.
Dell's 1737 service manual shows little except for taking it apart and assembly. If the tubes can be viewed it might show black streaks on a tube (theoretically other colors like red, yellow or white). Inspect capacitors for bulging of the top or bottom. The larger ones should be relevant to video.
I was just looking at all my drivers and noticed a yellow ! next to Consumer IR devices.
Any idea if this could be related?
When I open it up, it says that the device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31).
I had just noticed that on a system that had previously had a TV tuner. I suspect that has to do with VIIV if your board supports that. Probably not an issue but I'll look at my systems and installation writeups. It probably should have been taken care of by your installation.
As far as I can see you should only have that appear if you have it enabled in BIOS with Intel boards to use the CIR header. Intel has discontinued VIIV. A USB TV tuner would not require such a change as far as I know. Changes in IR connection can disrupt operation significantly but I haven't seen the high resolution video problem.
Today I read some of the posts of Black screen after installing ... at http://communities.intel.com/thread/11878?tstart=0. Some posts do suggest that a driver restores access to the "desktop". I believe in some cases this may be due to a more efficient driver that extends use of the system. The system in laptops is probably the one most would believe to be the most efficient. To save space, power, weight and expense multiple transformers are not used. The power driving the display is not differentiated in the same way as a monitor and desktop. A bonus may be the access to Safe Mode. I don't own any specific computer stock and my comments are not that of a professional in software or hardware.
Two display adapters listed in Safe Mode is probably normal. Windows now requires one default monitor. Since the registry has changed to a default listing of 12 monitors I no longer can interpret whether installation and swapping matters but it is unlikely. Use the Intel procedure for driver installation order, particularly audio.