studio460, thanks for the advice. From their mail they already seem ready to service the camera. It's basically useless for long exposures unless I want to put up with the NR feature every time, but that doesn't even help until >10s. I will ask that the sensor (or entire body) is definitely replaced, not just "calibrated" somehow.
As a semiconductor test engineer I know exactly the reasons for this kind of thing. And the tests that would find it (on a probably-very-expensive-tester, or done manually by a person) take the longest time = therefore the most likely to be removed too early, in order to ramp volume production. :-)