Went to BB last night and ordered my 5271. I considered the 81, but the 5265 with the better picture right next to it gave me an excuse to save several hundred by going with the 71. I say excuse because they had just unpacked the 81 and nothing had been calibrated, so I have no reason to think the 81 couldn't perform as well or better than the 65.
In case anybody is wondering, I went the BB route cause I had coupons and could pick up a PS3 along with the 71 for 0% for 3 yrs. Amazingly, my monthly bill will be the same as my mobile phone bill...which my company now picks up :-) :-)
I was almost caught up in the XBR4. Sadly, I really liked the idea that the menu for the TV would look the same as the PS3. They also had it hooked up to a Blu-ray player, which is unfair for all the other tvs playing the craptacular Direct feed. I do like the bezel and frame, but not as much as the Sammy.
I was also looking at the new Pio 6010FD. They had one around 5265 and a new Panny Viera. For some reason, it was like I could very clearly see the pixels (or pixel groups) on the Pio from about 4 feet away. It looked like it had a grid drawn on it. This kind of turned me off (or just gave me another excuse to save some money). Not sure what I was seeing.
I'm a little nervous about the very reflective bezel and frame for the 71. I hope it won't make much of a difference in my gameroom or else it's the XBR4 to try next. For the average reader here, all I can say is between the 71, 81, XBR4, and even the Pios...they're all really good TVs. You have to just go check them out. Go with your gut, buy one (any one) and you'll be enjoying it when you get home.
I'll report back next week when I actually get the 71.