I wanted to give a shout out to Chris at Cleveland Plasma, where I purchased my new beast, a VT 65 inch, which is replacing my Kuro Elite 8G 60 inch set.
I also bought ST 55 inch which replaced my 50 inch Kuro Elite 1110HD, a 720p panel from 2005. I will post on my ST experience on the ST thread (awesome panel!)
As for the VT: Chris was great. I terrific purchase experience and the delivery was flawless.
I have completed 100 hours of D-NICE's slide set combined with some low contrast/brightness TV watching.
There is had been some commentary about fan noise, so I wanted to chime in.
I have been running the TV for 100 hours straight. The 2 fans emit a very light hum that is barely noticeable 8 feet away. The Panny fan noise is MUCH MORE QUIET than my DIRECTV DVR or my very noisy PS3 slim (or the 8G Kuro), so I do not see the fan noise on the TV being much of an issue at least on my sample
I used my Dune HD at 24 fps connected directly to the Panny to do a quick calibration with the WOW and S&M 2 ed discs. The Panny was at 96Hz,
This set is unbelievably bright. Using the Professional 1 mode with panel brightness mode on "mid", my contrast setting was in the 40 s to avoid clipping the whites. When I put the panel brightness in low mode, I was able to get the whites in balance at a contrast setting in the 80s.
The brightness was at +2. I was also able to bump sharpness up over 20 with no artifacts on the S&M or WOW discs.
Although the white calibration pattern looked better in the low panel brightness setting, at bumped it back up to mid position (and lower contrast setting) to watch some scenes from Avatar at 96 Hz, and yowza what a picture. The colors and blacks are stunning.
The Panny smokes the black levels and overall feel of my Kuro 8G (and half the price!)
I cannot even imagine having a brighter panel at 65 inches.
Chris was right to guide me to the Pannys rather than the Sammy given my history with the Kuro and desire for richer blacks and a more natural look and feel. That goes for the ST as well a fantastic panel and an unbelievable value.
This is all very preliminary, and I have a few hundred hours of viewing pleasure before I get a professional calibration and I really see what these panels can do.
Thanks for all of the posts and all of the info on this forum.