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Does the following work for you?
<mx:TextInput text="The quick brown fox" backgroundDisabledColor="white" enabled="false" />
yep, i can set backgroundDisabledColor inline, although i'll set it in my CSS file instead
are you saying that white was the flex 2 default? i had remembered it being a light gray but i couldn't confirm that running a flex 2 app - it's disabled color looked white as well. i think i'll use #F0F0F0 which is a pretty light gray.
Yes, the default background of a disabled TextInput was changed because an empty disabled TextInput didn't look any different from one that was enabled. The details for this change are in this bug:
yep, had seen that defect (thanks for posting the link) but it didn't explicitly identify the previous default for the background color. the poster said disabled text fields with no text looked identical to enabled text fields, which should have clued me in to the default having been white. i just was sure it was a light gray similar to the #F0F0F0 i'm using now.
thanks peter and joan for your help.