Guys- It's not even worth argueing about the original aspect ratio or not.
Anyone that does not understand or like the original aspect ratio and wished to fill the entire screen- regardless if it cropps, zooms, or stretches and lowers PQ is their own choice, and right- even if they probably are ignorant about why it's a poor choice (from a quality or purist perspective)
It's like trying to convert someone from one religion to another. Pointless arguement.
You can certainly convert all your media to 16X9, or stretch or crop it to fit 16X9 but I don't believe the results or the effort are worth it all all.
If your simply annoyed by the black bars or the fact your picture might seem smaller and not use all your available screen on your display you need to look into another display- perhaps a projector with a screen that adjusts.
In both my and my parents the screen drops down from the ceiling and the projector is not an eyesore. In many regards it's way more elegant than a TV hanging on the wall. And you can grab a basic 42" plasma for daytime, or crap TV watching for $400 or even keep your existing display and add the system for movie enjoyment,
That is really the only solution if your annoyed by the black bars thing.
I am spoiled so it'snot an issue.
I don't believe cost is an issue since it's available cheaper than a TV too.
Anyone who fails to do it must learn to live with the black bars and wider than 16X9 aspect ratio IMO. There is no reasonable other solution.