After sitting for a month, I booted up my MBP (model MA895LL) and found that the display video was broken up with numerous random black horizontal lines and was flashing so rapidly I couldn't make out anything on the screen. Connecting an external monitor to the DVI port worked without any issue. Besides the display there was nothing to indicate any other problems with the machine.
It was suggested by a local shop that this likely points to a LCD replacement to solve the problem. Before I pull the trigger and order a new LCD I thought I'd check for a second opinion... I have pulled the LCD out already (thanks to your excellent walk through) to see if I was dealing with a bad cable or could see anything obvious - I didn't find anything.
Thanks in advance for your 2 cents.