If it's constant, it's possibly a loose cable.
If it comes on pink then turns color, it indicates that the power inverter and/or screen is dying, yes. Even if it is constant, this is a possibility.
Inspiron 8000 is pretty old. Ride it out until it dies, buy a new laptop.
It won't be worth fixing.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was always under the impression that the reddish tint implies a dying backlight? If that's the case, the backlight is usually a pretty cheap part (especially for an older machine), though it may be a bit finicky to replace.
Since it has other issues as well this is not a good sign then?
For instance the bios screen is largely inoperable. You can get the first page and change the date and time but that's it. You cannot maneuver anywhere or change pages, and even ESC doesn't work, you have to manually shut down.
Then it opens to a miniature (1/9 or so full screen) and all program windows (games, like Steel Panther...) open to that small window. Changing settings in terms of nnn x yyy does nothing. The tiny window stays the same.
One tech told me it was the BIOS battery needing changing. Another said he thinks the motherboard is probably going. He could try "re-flashing" the bios, whatever that is, but he had faint hope for success.
Does it sound like this is anything but possible parts? It was bought in 2001 and I still have a3500 that is running fine that is at least two years older.
Can you actually replace a backlight? I've heard both ways but never done it for all the laptop repairs I've done.
I've done some backlight swaps (and broken a few backlights on accident too XD) on the Latitude D600 and the associated Inspirons... but you're right in that I don't know if all backlights can be replaced.