Most reviews that compare the WHD5 to other 34" direct views, all seem to claim that the picture blows the others out of the water. The only comparable unit that is as versitile that will take 1080i, 720p, 480p AND 1280 x 720p vga input (to 120htz) (with a .82mm dot pitch) is the princeton graphics AF3.0HDS 16:9 30" (but has .63mm dot pitch) which, according to the sampo rep, has a SAMPO tube. The other 34 inchers (pan, sony, tosh, etc) have more amentities and are more user friendly, but when it comes to a sharper, more accurate image, the sampo seems to win hands down.
I spent quite a bit of time at the SAMPO booth at the 2002 CES, snooping around about the WHD6. I was quite impressed with it when it was hot off the press 1/14/02 and mentioned it in this post
before the information was public.
At the CES, a 480p loop was being shown which looked great. The big difference in the WHD6 is that it has a great internal line doubler for 480i signals. It also has 2 HD inputs instead of one on the WHD5. The remote is more user friendly and has multiple buttons for input selection, instead of having to scroll through them serially. As for the aspect ratio changes for each (individual) input, I'm not sure if they are memorized or have to be changed manually.....you could call cs at 1-866-SAMPO-22 and ask. The other question I had, not answered at the exhibit was whether you can manually adjust the kelvin temperature based on HDTV or PC inputs like you can with the princeton. You may want to ask that as well. Or would the unit pick up the input automatically and adjust the temp accordingly?
Personally, I think the sampo blows the other 34s away. They have excellent customer service and seem to have a dedicated support staff. I plan to use a WHD6 in the bedroom when its available '2nd quarter'.
The sampo rep mentioned that the price of the 6 should be comparable to the 5 (retail). But, if you can't wait, you can pick up a 5 for $1750, but you'll have to tack on another $600 for a DVDO outboard doubler.
Good luck and give them a call. They should be very accomadating.