Well, the calibrate "is-what-it-is". It does go off slightly for me, but I'm kinda used to it, and its just slight.
Scratching? Mines a late 08 model and I have not noticed any scratch-wearing and I'm using black nibs, but I always keep it wiped (esp through cold/flu season, lol)
Thought I may as well answer this, as this thread seems to have been left unanswered for a while.
Carrara 7 Pro, Anime Studio Pro 5.6, Hexagon 2.5, Zbrush 3.5, Project Dogwaffle Pro4, Manga Studio, trueSpace 7.6, Corel Draw X3 and WACOM Cintiq12WX user.