Only played with my new 42" S2 for about 30 mins, but I'm digging it!
First power up, I was very worried. I've only read about the first half of these comments, and I saw the grain/noise issue pop up several times, and even on the initial start-up menu, I saw it very clearly! It's like the "pixels" are constantly jumping around. Even on the menu of the ps3, I could see it. Then I switched from Standard to Cinema, and poof, it was gone. Picture was totally solid.
In fact, every other setting except for Standard, it looks fine. Why Standard looks strange, I have no idea. And as for the other settings, I personally think they can all look fairly similar, except for the overall brightness of the set (not brightness in terms of black level, but sheer light output). Cinema is darker, then custom, game, and vivid. They look different by default of course, but I think you could make them all fairly similar by changing the color temps, etc.
The way I see it working, is that depending on your lighting conditions, you can switch between pre-sets depending on how bright you want the set (night vs day for example).
But once I got off the Standard preset and it's noise, this set is looking awesome. Still need to finish reading the posts here and try some of the custom settings, but I have very high hopes.
And I'm coming to this model from a Samsung PN42C450. The Samsung made a terrible buzzing sound. Thankfully, this Panasonic is whisper quiet! Even up close, I can't hear a thing. Love it.