I somehow managed to miss this thread entirely when reading AVSF for calibration suggestions for the 40XBR3. I've had one on loan from Sony for review for a couple of weeks and had fallen in love with it to the point that I decided to take the plunge and buy a 40XBR2 (didn't "need" the piano black finish) last night at CC. Got it home, hooked up my PS3 via HDMI, and was greeted by the clouds of despair. Build date on the set is October 2006. Build date on the XBR3 sitting next to me as I type this is August 2006.
I attached a couple of photos of my clouds, just in case anyone wants to use them for reference / evidence. (Bear in mind I'm not an ace photog.) The set was on sale for $2499 at BB, but CC price matched plus 10% -- they were pretty shocked by the BB price, in fact. Think maybe the $600 drop is intended to rid their inventory of these "bad eggs?"
I'm returning the XBR2 to CC tonight for a refund. Shame, since it's such a lovely set apart from this problem -- but I have plenty of dark games and movies where it's really a problem. This is my first CC purchase (and first TV from them) in years; should I expect any headaches?