I was in the same boat...deciding between the 5500 and 6500. I went with the 5500. I admit the $300 and spare bulb rebate was a nice incentive, but I was in awe of the picture the 5500 put out in the dealer's showroom. I didn't think I would notice whatever improvements in black levels or whatever between the 5500 and 6500 once I got it home and installed. I am amazed every time I turn it on and anyone that has been over and watched it always have that "wow" factor. If the 6500 is in your budget, I'm sure you will love it, but if the 5500 fits the budget better, I can assure you that you will love it as well.