I'm more of a snob on the audio side. Since you are a professed Video snob, keep a couple things in mind. I haven't watched other blu-ray movies as this is my first BR player. And, this was the first movie we watched. So, I don't have a reference other than from watching HD-DVDs, which I do own. I'm also watching on a brand new, un-calibrated (or roughly calibrated) TV.
With that in mind, I'm not one of those that care that they may have messed with the pallet of the theatrical release. I just care that it looks good on my TV. I couldn't even tell you if the differences are noticeable or not. I saw the movies exactly 1 time each at the theater. That's been many years, so I have no "memory" of the colors. So, if that kind of thing is important to you, then I may be a bad person to listen to.
Anyhow, I can say that the 24 frame experience was exactly what I hoped .. smooooooooth. There is some SOE in a few scenes, especially in the early Shire scenes. But, I found it amazing instead of distracting.
Let me add that this is a very large collection of materials and has tremendous packaging. I found this as a huge step up from the widescreen DVD versions I own.
Just my 2 cents.