OK Guys. I couldn't help picking one up at my local Wal-Mart. They had two on display. Just so you know where I'm coming from, I've owned Sony and Panasonic players and now own the PS3. Here are my initial thoughts on the Samsung 1500 after playing with it for about an hour.
I can confirm that it does bitstream Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA to my Yamaha RX-V663 receiver. The picture is gorgeous. I do not have a Blu-ray test disc to actually look at resolution patterns, but it looks very sharp with great colors.
The biggest surprise? The disc loading times are much faster than I expected. I did not actually time them, but the discs I put in loaded at least as quickly, and perhaps more quickly, than what I remember the Panasonic BD30 load times were. I was especially surprised at how quickly Ratatouille loaded.
Again, these are just my first, early impressions. I'm going to put the player through its paces for a few days. If it continues to perform as well as it has, it's a keeper.
I'm looking forward to someone else verifying (or nullifying) my observations, especially about the load times.