but perhaps the problem is not that you bought a 'high end' tv, but that the market has killed the true 'high end' tv, and the 'mid-range' tvs that now top the price list aren't high enough quality.
as much as i hate hearing more about the kuro, seems like those guys got the best bang for their buck and they paid a heck of a lot more than we did...
i just don't feel that getting lower quality is going to relieve these kinds of issues. i personally feel like i would never go back to anything LESS than the f8500. the last tv i bought was low-mid range and i was planning my upgrade about 5 days after i got it home(no hassle free return on that one). i know i won't be happy from day one with a cheap tv, so it's not money saved, its money wasted for me.
on another note, i wonder what would happen if you displayed an image of bright white bars on the sides, and black in the center(opposite of normal 4:3 content). if IR is essentially uneven wearing of phosphors, maybe you can even it out a bit that way.
Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1130K, 7.1/5.1.2 audio
Sources: HTPC(Enby), PS3, XBOX360, Wii
Control: Harmony One