I have the 1500 and it does a pretty good job for less money. As for picture, it beats most HD content I have seen on Directv. The limitation is the transfer on DVD, as some have better enhancements and such. Also most Movies that have been released before 2001 are soft and more realistic looking on DVD, but with the new movies Blu-ray will be the winner. For comparison Dark Night DVD vs Blu-ray... for the picture Blu-ray costs a lot more and is slightly sharper, small details are more pronounced with Blu-ray but I am being picky. The only great thing about Blu-ray is how much DVD prices are droping. As DVDs are getting scarce, I will keep mine as there is some details that were best left alone. Aliens for example... The director did not want any more enhancement done the the movie (very strict about what can be done), so mostlikely there should not be much more enhancement done to the move when released in Blu-ray.
The only way your going to see differences between PS2, Toshiba, Samsung, and others is to hook each one up can compair directly. So many complain about settings and picture, but tvs are all different as is LED DLP. LCD is a problem child when comparing playback, and Plasma usually is too enhanced to make accurate approximations. Out of the box DLP is a bit over adjusted, but even left alone you can see major differences between various playback from sources.
Yes, my 2010 Panasonic 42C2 performs better than an S2 No floating blacks and keeps the lowest black levels.