Oh boy. Folks were looking at that faucet as the Second Coming.
To add to your dilemma, I just stumbled across this note at the bottom of the ChiCompany page
that lists the Vent-Matic "1.1" faucets:
"Perlick is discontinuing the Pearl [sic - it's actually "Perl"] line of faucets due to ongoing leak issues sometime in the 1st quarter of 2014."
Between your problem and the apparent End Of The Perl, this is gonna make many people nervous...
Cheers! (hugging my many years leak-free six pack of 525SS faucets even tighter tonight
 PS: If the leak is at the "bonnet", the o-ring that seals the lever pivot may have been pinched or distorted due to dry fitting.
I'd take everything apart, clean gently, put a film of keg lube on all the o-rings, and reassemble.
I had to do this to one of my six Perls out of the box, and it joined the other five in leak-free status a couple of years ago.
Thinking of investing in a crate of Perls right now...