I wasn't hoping to start a war, but I can understand people's passion.
I stopped into a Magnolia today where they had the Samsung and Panny one above the other. An HD football game wasn't really close: the Samsung was much sharper and I strongly preferred its picture. Even during commercials I felt that the Samsung had the superior image. I asked the salesperson to check out the setting for both and to get them as fair as possible. I watched the various options as they went by and oddly enough there wasn't a point where I thought that the Panny had an edge. It primarily stayed in one of the THX modes but always appeared a little too soft.
Until we loaded a BluRay. With Ironman it was reminiscent of, though not equalling, my Pioneer 6070, though it didn't touch the Kuro 141. Unfortunately, the Samsung didn't have a BluRay connected so I couldn't compare that source directly.
But I'd seen enough. Neither TV quite did it for me. They looked very good, but not enough to swap out my 6070.
Considering the reviews and feedback I've read, I was surprised by the Samsung. Actually, no, I was surprised by the Panny. It's possible that there was a technical issue or that it was much more in need of calibration than the Samsung, but I won't know for sure. This store appeared to be using a Comcast feed, same as what I use, so that wasn't the problem. And if it was, the Samsung should have suffered equally.
At this point, I may wait until Panny releases their next models. Some here have said that they've claimed big things for 2013. I hope so. I'm a Panasonic fan, but if I had to buy today it would be the Samsung. Or something else entirely.