Just picked up a new 55HX929 panel and love it. I missed the Magnolia sale, so I went directly to my local SONY store, and asked them if they would match the $2499 price, and they did!
Now fast forward two weeks, and all SONY resellers have the set priced at $3490 and above, including the online SONY store. The sales associate I purchased my set from told me that SONY was going to clamp down on their pricing policy, and they did.
I couldn't be happier with the unit. It replaces a nearly 10 year old 42" Panasonic plasma. The new sets are 1/2 the weight, so installation was a breeze.
I haven't noticed any of the banding issues. But, just in case, I purchased the 5 year extended service contract.
BTW, does anyone know if the PS3 has advantages over the XBOX 360 when hooking up to a new SONY television? Thinking of purchasing a game box now that I have a LCD.