We decided that the best way to deal was to simply splice in a few new boards. On one of our many trips to Home Depot, we asked about purchasing some unfinished oak floor boards. But apparently they were next to impossible to find in the South this spring, because there was a flooring shortage up North so all of our boards had been sent there. ? They might have been able to special order us a box--but a box was 20 square feet, and we only wanted 1 sf.
Time to get resourceful. Home Depot helpfully supplies little sample blocks of their prefinished flooring. These are generally about 4" long. But one of the Depots we frequent would stick out a bucket full of 12"-18" long pieces of just one type--Bruce red oak! Score! So each time we would go rent a sander, I went and grabbed a few more "sample" pieces.
The down side of this approach is that it is really hard to remove the finish from modern prefinished flooring--it is amazingly tough and durable. (You actually need special sandpaper if you're trying to refinish one of these floors.) Our really sharp scraper and P's nice strong muscles were able to take it on.
The end result looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.
Especially if we ever install baseboard in the hall :-)