I can't believe I'm about to post this going on 2012.. but I've begun my hunt for another 34XBR960. It's amazing how many panels I've had and enjoyed only to go full circle right back to the little 34" that could.
I had many including a Samsung 46A950 locally dimmed LCD, Samsung 63C8000 plasma, Panasonic 58VT25 plasma, tried out the VT30, LG 55LX9500, Pioneer 4270HD, Pioneer 5020FD, and even tried the GOD ALMIGHTY 500m Kuro which everyone claims is the king of the tv mountain.
After all that it is my opinion that you guys with your 960's still have the best picture quality bar none. I'll admit that my last XBR960 went out due to a bad power supply (at least that's what I think it was) but today's display have too many unsorted issues that I know firsthand (and we pay alot for them too).
There's fluctuating brightness, floating blacks, rising blacks, crushing blacks, halos, blooming, clouding, flashlights, input lag, burn-in, average-poor blacks, buzzing, color problems, and I can go on and on enough to make my head spin. My have we gone backwards. I haven't seen a picture to look remotely as good as the 960 I had years ago. The emphasis now is bigger is better, 3D, frame interpolation, and gizmos and gadgets. I could give a flying **** if my tv has youtube, pandora, skype, or some child alarm indicator on it. I think these companies have put so much **** in it that they forgot what their selling... a television.
Call me crazy but I've just about lost all desire for another flat panel. OLED could be compelling, but I won't have my hopes up until I see it. About the Kuros.. yeah there nice but for as much as you spend I would expect nothing short of pure blacks in a dark room. They can't compare to a 960. They just can't. Not only this but the 960 has a more natural picture with depth to it. It's amazing to hear so many say they wouldn't pay more than $200 for something that runs circles around anything on the market today. Almost dumbfounding.
I pulled my 34XBR960 that was in my closet for years to see what it could do. I didn't realize that I had a different model than my first one, because I could tell right away something was different. The picture looks a little duller on this one than my first. Dark, dull, and not as sharp. The first one I have was extremely crisp, bright (accurate not overdone), as well as having deep blacks. The one I had before was the "N" model. It didn't have a coating on it and I swear everything about it was sharper with more punch. Now I don't mind a dark picture because I'm used to using D-Nice's settings and I like accuracy since I do all my viewing in a pitch black room. But even then this one's lacking. I really wish I had my old one back.
Sooo now I hunt for a 34XBR960N and hope I can find a good one that's well kept. If someone knows of one, or that has one for sell in North Carolina, by all means let me know. I'd pay more than your neighbor would lol.