Well, I work for P&F USA, so I have access to the entire line-up in the lab so I have tested all of them. I also personally own the 5505.
In terms of pure picture quality and black levels, the 5000 series (120Hz panel + scanning backlight = 240Hz class & 1D local dimming) beats the 7 series (120Hz panel with edge-lit LED) hands down.
The only reason why the 7000 series is more expensive is cos it is an LED panel, which also means the boards used inside the TVs are more expensive to manufacture and just cos its LED-LCD, & as of now all LED-LCDs cost more than CCFL-LCDs.
Also, ur right about the 9000 series European models, they are awesome, have those in the lab as well ... only time will tell if we get some of them here on North American soil.
Also, even I never use the Settings Assistant, you are better off calibrating the TV yourself based on your viewing environment. But you should understand, we have to include tools like that for the average Joe who is not a geek and does not care about calibration. For someone like them, it is fantastic and we have received positive feedback about that tool in our FMF runs.
Power Stride & Ready to Ride!
Opinions, suggestions, criticisms, questions on Philips HD (USA & Canada) products, please ask.
All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.