If sync has become an issue again you might try the original solution from the bad old days and change your audio output to LPCM on your cable box. That solved the problem for most early users until it was cured by the 1.15 update.
No, no changes. I use them on both my E60 and E70 with great results. I will say the E60 has a better picture overall than the 70. I've never been able to achieve the "startling' clarity of the 60 on the 70. With good input the 60 is almost 3D in it's clarity but guess which one I watch the most? If you guessed 70 you would be correct.
There's no doubt the boot screen has been darkened, probably to alleviate complaints about uneven lighting. How may sets in this thread have been returned because of nervous noobs worried about bleed, etc.?