Well, after the delay by Pilot, they actually showed up this (Sunday) morning bright and early at 8am. A quick 5 minute drop off (I didn't want them opening it up / testing it as it would be difficult to navigate the minefield that is our first floor during this festive season of holiday decorating, but that's another story...), and then a couple hours for the TV to warm up to room temp (it was cold and raining outside this a.m.), and I was finally able to plug 'er in and test things out.
My first impression of the UN55C6800 was disappointing - I saw lots of flashlighting, lots of edge light creep, and wasn't wowed by the black levels at all, especially with the lights turned off and room darkened as much as I could get it. Then, I realized my mistake - I had put the TV on the floor so I could test it out before dealing with mounting it on the entertainment console mounting bracket (which would require removing the existing Sammie 46"), and silly me was looking at the TV from an angle which virtually nobody would look at a TV - from way above at about a 30 degree angle looking down.
So... I (along with the help of wifey of course) moved the TV up onto the entertainment console, and since this TV is a mere 1" thick, it sat in front of the existing 46" with no problem. I sat back down on the ground, and wow, the difference was striking. Now the black levels were very nearly black, and edge lighting was almost imperceptible. Huh, go figure, viewing the TV the way it was intended to actually worked out!
I spent the better part of the rest of the day fiddling with getting it mounted, a chore in and of itself. It seems as though Samsung no longer packs in the screws needed for the Vesa mounting sockets on the back of the TV, and the two sets I had with my 3rd party mount actually did not fit (one was too long, and the other - too short!) I lucked out though and actually still had the original screws from the 46" unit, so I decided I'd scavenge those and just inform the next owner that it does not come with said screws. So, long story short, the TV mounted just fine, took a few adjustments to get things just right, and now, after all the work, I have to say that I am indeed impressed by the quality difference between a pure LCD TV and the edge lit, local dimming wonders of the 6800 series LED.
I didn't fiddle too much with the settings today - after all there was a lot of football and prime time TV to watch. But the 120hz technology definitely made the action shots in the game look stunning - I mean my jaw was on the floor by how crisp this display was over the old LCD (and keep in mind, my "old" unit is only 3.5 years old). Then moving on to the game consoles, again, racing and top down shooters never looked this good before.
About the only thing I need to see if I can tweak is the local dimming. I specifically got this TV for local dimming, and the size jump, and the one thing I noticed which could just be "the way it is", is that when fast forwarding on the TiVo, the green progress meter changes brightness depending on how bright the surrounding portions of the screen are. So if it is surrounded by bright colors, it actually gets darker, and vice versa. I believe this is done as an attempt to even out the changing brightness of the LEDs, but it is doing it in such a way that makes it painfully obvious to me that it isn't doing that good of a job with it. I haven't noticed really anything other than that one thing, so if it isn't something I can tweak away, I'll just learn to live with it.
Overall... this was an upgrade well worth splurging on. I think the local dimming technology still has some ways to go before we get to that mythical world where every single pixel has an infinite contrast ratio, but Samsung has brought us all a lot closer to that reality. In the end, it only matters what you perceive the picture to be doing, not what the technology actually does, and based on what I've seen so far, I expect that I'll be wowed quite often in the weeks to come as I re-watch some old favorite movies on the new screen.