Yes to all questions, except for the "less than thirlled" That is not accurate. It is as I expected, given my experience with the 360 already, and the fact that I have been watching HD content for years, and have been looking at HD signal since before the Grand Alliance. Subtle refinements would be nice, but those will come as it becomes a more mature product and (more importantly) technology. DVD quality was all over the place when it started. Just take a look at the original issue of Blade Runner. Oooof. Player quality suffered much of the same.
I am thrilled that it plays both formats. I am extremely thrilled that it can get software updates. This has been a highly critical thread, and I think very much because there are quite a few things this player doesn't do yet that it should, but will. Worse, however, has been the very confusing availability information from all sides. This, I think, had the result of pre-poisioning many along the lines of "they sure took their time to get this out, and I really had to jump through hoops to get it, so it better be worth it."
We have a few demotivating factors here, related to various issues with the firmware and the company. Please forgive the diversion into the psychological and sociological sciences, but I think it is worth mentioning a couple things, and I will try to use some more customary examples for illustration.
Herzberg's Hygine Factors are things which do not serve to motivate us, but can demotivate if deficient. At your job, a broken AC on a hot day is a deficient hygine factor. Its proper operation does not serve to motivate you, but its malfunction surely demotivates.
Herzberg's Hygine Factors are not being met because we feel the player is not doing basic hygine things which we would expect (proper speaker setup, glitch free audio, proper output of non-anamorphic 4x3 DVD content). These are hygine factors because they, if met, do not solicit praise (we don't say "Wow! What a great speaker setup menu!"). These deficient Hygine Factors are serving to demotivate both pre-sales and usage. Some may expand that list to include things like DTS-MA or full Dolby TrueHD on the analog. I don't (yet), because I think they fall into two other factors, Adam's Equity Theory and Vroom's Expectancy Theory.
Equity Theory relates to dissatisfaction and demotivation with regard to comparisons. If you get a 50% raise, you are happy, right? But if you find out your co-worker gets a 75% raise, the tendancy is that you are going to get very upset about the lack of equity. How come you didn't get 75% if they did? This is seriously demotivating and leads to dissatisfaction.
Adam's Equity Theory is a real killer here. The player cannot be evaluated in isolation. It gets compared to players that have been on the market since early 07 and have gone from firmware 1.3 to 2.7 (Toshiba). The 5000 is deficient against these other players, and although it may be unrefined 10K gold, the others have been refined to 18K gold. It is demotivating in comparison, but it doesn't change the fact that you have a lump of refinable 10K gold whereas before you had none.
Equity theory has, I think, finally appeared in the home theater environment with regard to movie theaters. It used to be there was just simply no comparison. But theaters have suffered massive reduction in visual quality due to 2K film scanning and CGI, plus polyester stock static and jam-up problems leading to lost shows, plus significantly immature debut of digital projection at 1K resolutions in the past few years only recently improved to 2K and SXRD 4K (with horrible contrast), and general decline of booth quality, not to mention the massive decline in audience behavior standards.
Home, on the other hand, just keeps getting better. Better sound than TV speakers, better and bigger picture, nicer accomodations. The commercial theater and the home theater have traveled enough to a middle point that people look at their home now as something that can actually be equitably compared to the commercial theater, but this is a dangerous trap, since the best of commerical theater is far better than anything home has to offer. It's analogous to a line worker comparing their $100 bonus to the CEO's $100K bonus, just because they both happen to work in the same building on the same floor. What they do and are responsible for is still vastly different, just like the home and commerical theatres.
Vroom's Expectancy Theory is pretty straight forward. One tends to be motivated to do something if it has an attainable reward, and general sense that success is possible.
For this player, Expectancy is delicate. Yes, the chipset can do it (fill in the blank), yes, Samsung has done updates, but no, Samsung doesn't always do the updates we think they should, and past experience with Samsung has left some people frusterated. So, expectancy bounces the perceptions around from, "yay! it's great and I know they will just make it better!" to "ugh! it's awful and I know they'll never fix it"
I could go into pure Maslow (hierarchy of needs) here too (some of us are at different levels of the pyramid), but I don't want to start dissecting AVS Forum member psyches.
Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
Panasonic PT-AE7000; TBD Screen!; Sony glasses
Panasonic DMP-BDT220; Samsung BD-UP5000; Directv HR20-700, AppleTV gen 3
7x JBL PT800 2x Parasound HCA-1500A stereo -> Fronts, 4x HCA-1000A bridged -> 4x surrounds
2x JBL PS1400 SW by QSC MX1500A stereo