I'm sending the sales page now. I think it'll be $16.95. That's USB and serial LCD control, USB upgradable, for the same price as the SparkFun serial-only backpack.
Backlight can be set from software. You may be able to hack it for software contrast control too. There's a solder jumper that connects the contrast voltage to the second PWM pin on the PIC. I didn't trust this to work for every LCD so it is disabled by default, but the potential is there.USB and serial backpack
for simple HD44780 character LCD screens. A few nice features set it apart from the usual serial-only LCD backpacks:
*USB and serial control of characters LCDs
*Supported in common software (LCD Smartie) as 'matrix orbital' display
*Adjust backlight from software
*Couple extra pins for buttons
*Open source (CC BY-SA)