A Sony tech is coming over here to check the TV, wish me luck guys! I'm now going to find a setting that will really display the problem, and maybe throw a "clouding" pitch too.
The ST30 is a plasma so if we are going to compare by 2D performance, you will find that this Sony is brighter than the ST30... which will benefit you if your viewing environment is bright. Also, this LED has an excellent black level for being an LED, especially when you have a bias light/ambient light around the TV. With Advanced Contrast Enhancer ON, you'll see that when the display fades to black it is really black.
On a side note, you will find screen uniformity issues here more than the near perfect plasma. I'll be having a plasma after Christmas time and the main reason for the purchase is the screen uniformity. Clouding, dirty screen effect, color banding to some extent are just natural problems.
With "conservative" settings though, TV does output a solid 2D picture. If it's 2D performance you are just looking for, then I'd highly recommend the TV. Where it fails is the overall package when you factor in crosstalk nation.