A battery pull isn't necessary; you can shut down the phone with a little practice (depending on your lockscreen).
1. Press the power button (or wait) to lock the phone
2. Press the power button again and unlock
3. [optional] Press the home button (center of screen near bottom edge)
4. Press and hold the power button until a short vibration is felt.
5. Touch the Power Off button (center of the screen just below a horizontal line from the midpoint of the volume rocker). This puts you in the Power Off confirmation dialog.
6. Touch the screen in the approximate location of the "OK" button. I start at the middle on the right side and work my way down. Soon I get the long vibration telling me the phone has powered off. This is the hardest to master since feedback isn't immediate; the long vibration happens several seconds after I successfully hit the OK button.
7. If nothing happens, press the power button to re-lock and start again.
8. Practice when the phone is functioning normally, and you'll be prepared for your next SOD.
My observations (bone stock GSM phone):
This happened once in a pitch-black room. The screen does not go perfectly dark, but it is extremely dim and uniformly grey. I could not make out any details, so the contrast is completely gone.
SOD happens all the time playing Ingress, or other apps where the screen is active for a long time. It seems to happen most often when the display partly dims before going to sleep. My phone is set to sleep at 30 seconds, and the "pre-dim" happens at about 25 seconds. That's usually where I get my SODs.
SOD happens to me less often with auto-brightness set to OFF. It's extremely rare in normal use (but happened just now as I replied to a text!)
i dont know how replicate this 4.2 SOD, but there is a simple way to avoid it, put all animations inside developers option to 1.0
it doesnt happen anymore to me, stock rom and kernel (i have automatic brightess on if this can matter)
if i put all animations to off or to 0.5, when the screen time out and became black, sometimes it doesnt wake anymore..4.2 sod