I don't have a DVD yet..and over past couple days, TV has been on for say 15-20 hours at least, total. So I guess, like you say, tech has improved and I should just enjoy.
As for black bars on left and right - got it. I think I set it to 16:9 ratio and full screen is covered, although I do notice that black bars are on a couple channels like Discovery (top and bottom). I guess there's no way to adjust specific channels only?
Also, is there image retention issues with the news bar at bottom (i.e. espn news, headline news with ticker) or with the symbols of channels (that most have in bottom right corner of screen)? How can you realistically avoid those?
I think once I get the HD box from Verizon, the picture will look a lot better. Right now, it's not that clear to me - and part of it is getting the settings to where we like it.