Jim, the user menu for this year's Panasonic X, S and G10 series give you the ability to adjust contrast, brightness, color, tint and white settings in a simple & basic fashion. These adjustments will satisfy most consumers without confusing them. The upcoming V series will have more control in the user menus like seperate red, blue and green adjustments. The V series will also offer more picture modes like Studio Reference. If you like lots to tweak with, then you should wait for the V series (2" thick) or the Z series (1" thick). As for having a great/fantastic picture with User settings alone, I can't answer. I'm still in the process of conditioning the panel with the slideshow. Many forum members on the G10 Owners thread seem very happy with their displays using only User Menu settings since "offsets", though eagerly awaited, have not been made available. Once you have adjusted User Menu settings for an input I think it will retain that setting for that input. For sure the Custom mode can be set and remembered for each input.
In the Service Menu the main adjustment is the White Balance. The Service Menu's adjustments are shown in a hexidecimal(?) format, not the 0-100 or +/- 30 or 50 with 0 being the center. As for a better picture from the Service Menu, from what I've been reading on the forums this is where calibrators align settings to bring the display as close to right as is possible and then go to the User Menu to make the final adjustments. Some forum members are calibrators and at times they will post "offsets" for Service Menu adjustments. These consist of a + or - followed by a number indicating how many clicks of the Volume control and in what direction. If you are going into the Service Menu, write down all settings before making any adjustments and don't touch the Volume + or - on the remote until you are ready to make adjustments. Once adjustments are made they remain until you re-enter and re-adjust.