Originally Posted by rkish
Since we're bearing our souls here...
I've owned my 50" PZ85U for 13+ months as well and feel that it is a GREAT TV. That said...
I ran into some issues with Panasonic Technical support (long story) and decided that if I ever bought another TV, that it most likely wouldn't be a Panasonic (I've got a BD-55, which I LOVE...I would still buy Panasonic BD players, as I feel that they are some of the best in the market and are reasonably priced).
I decided to put the Panny in my bedroom and replaced it with a Elite Pro-111FD. I chose this for many of the same reasons as you and I got it for a very decent price. My Panny cost me $2049.00 at the time that I bought it and the 111FD cost me $2549.00 plus shipping. If I had jumped on this in Feb. instead of early April, I probably could have saved another $300-$500 (but prices have jumped since I purchased and availability has and continues to diminish).
I will probably use the Panny for mostly "TV" watching (baseball, etc.) and the 111FD for BD movies, but my wife is really enjoying watching CSI in the bedroom on the Panny, so I finally have a GREAT TV in my bedroom for the first time EVER (last TV there was a 20 year old 27" JVC CRT - still has a picture, but the sound went out recently).
I'm far from being either a Panny and/or Kuro fanboy. There is nothing wrong with trying different things on the menu and like yourself, I was tempted to own a Kuro, before they go the way of the dinosaurs and the difference between a 5020 and the 111FD was only a few hundred dollars, so it was a no-brainer to go with the 111FD.
I've got a Mack on the Panny and plan to get one for the 111FD in the next few months.
Enjoy BOTH TVs...they are both winners (besides...my Panny has over 1500+ hours on it and my 111FD has bearly 350...no plasma "shines" until it's a lot closer to 1000 hours.
Last comment and I'm done. Personally, if the prices were the exact same I would go with the Kuro. Honestly though, I don't see much of a difference and I even got a special calibration software for the 5020 that let's me fine tune grayscale.
-Black levels are obviously better on the 5020 but other than that, I don't see a difference. I certainly would not have paid $1500 for the Pio, a couple hundred just for the deeper blacks - perhaps. I say to anyone who purchases one of the Panny's, even if it was just to save a couple hundred dollars - good job! The Pio is not worth that much more.
Also, the reason this got started was because a couple of months ago I mentioned I would soon no longer be a member of the 85u club. Someone asked me to compare the 5020 to the 85u, so I was going to. I post a message here a week or so ago saying I'll get around to that comparison soon and some dick jumps all over me. I'll make it simple. They are both great. If the price is identical, go with the Pioneer. If the Pio is a couple hundred more, ask yourself how important almost perfect black levels are and then decide. If it's a lot more, go with the Panny hands down.
I apologize for agreeing to compare the two sets for some other members. For those of you who would like a more detailed comparison, PM me and I would be glad to give you all my thoughts.