You made the right choice on the return. The scratch could be fixed but you would see those hack marks from fret filing every time you played. They would also affect any possible resale. How could someone do that over and over and . . . ?
Some have said that using a set of octave down (Guadalupe strings 1 octave lower than tenor) GCEA strings on a baritone leads to a muddy sound. Would tuning such a set up to ADF#B improve the sound while still giving low tones?