I just received my 500M this morning from Pilot (ordered via Monitor Outlet). I was initially about to have a coronary, as there was a huge dent on the side of the box, like a beam of wood had run into it (covered with tape to "hide" it). I was worried this was the screen side, bad enough any side. The Pilot guys took it upstairs for me and unboxed it, the screen was flawless, ran a flashlight with no sign of any issue. Huge sigh of relief (can't say how many times I've had daymares thinking the set was going to be smashed and there were no more stock of 500Ms anywhere).
Power up was fine (thank goodness as I felt bad about holding the Pilot guys any longer). Ran some demo video and it was the beautiful gorgeous I've been pumping myself up to over the last couple weeks. Running the break-in right now, can't bear to think about not sneaking in some actual viewing before it's done (I think I will break down on the break-in, for a little).
The stand I received from Monitor Outlet (which is the only one they were giving with the promo) was the KRP-TS02PM, which is definitely not worth $200 but sufficient enough for now. The mfg. date was April 2009.