It sure had a lot of nice features, like recording volume setting with LED readouts, better menus, jog/shuttle dial on face, much better displays and display options, headphone out w/volume control, better laid out remote, record button in the middle of the remote, a ring instead of the 4 buttons for menu that I hate to use for titling. more user friendly on-screen keyboard. The counter and time displays look very nice, with better options than the E series. Oh well.
I hope Sony offers a decent DVDR with hard drive soon. I like most of their higher end machine designs. The Panny is good, but not great in this area.