I have been doing a lot of research and experimenting with this tv since I bought it a few months ago.
For those having aspect ratio problems I think you may have a few things set improperly. Here is what I have done and I have no display problems at all. At least, none caused by the tv.
First of all, as noted in the owners manual, Auto Wide does not work on over the air analog broadcasts. But no one should have that problem after February 09. I have DirecTV HD and their latest model HD DVR.
Anyway, Auto Wide should be set to On if you want the aspect ratio displayed on the TV to track that of the source material.
4:3 Default should be set to Normal. This will allow a 4:3 source to be properly displayed at 4:3.
With Auto Wide set to On, and 4:3 Default set to Normal, the tv will automatically track the aspect ratio of the signal source. If you watch the Wide Mode line in the Screen Setting menu, you will see the mode go to Normal when a standard definition source at 4:3 is being displayed. The 4:3 source will be displayed properly in the center of the 16:9 screen. When an HD source (16:9) is being displayed, you will see the Wide Mode setting change to Full. There are no sources that will cause the Wide Mode to switch automatically to Wide Zoom or Zoom. Those modes must be selected manually.
But, if you set 4:3 Default to anything BUT Normal, say Zoom, when switching between an HD source and an SD source, the diplay will switch between Full (HD) and Zoom (SD). Also, if you set Auto Wide to Off, the setting of 4:3 Default do not matter. You must select the display mode manually using the Wide Mode selections.
When I watch a tv channel, I leave Auto Wide set to On and 4:3 Default set to Normal. Then I don't have to worry about changing the settings when I change channels. When I watch a DVD, I turn Auto Wide to Off and manually set Wide Mode to Full.
Now, you also have to make sure that the source device is set to diplay on a 16:9 HDTV properly. DVD players and HD satellite receivers and DVRs have selectable settings to match the display device. If you are using a 16:9 tv, you must set the DVD play or Sat receiver to 16:9 mode. The names may vary, but if you don't match the source to the display, all kinds of picture havoc can happen.
One final note. Earlier I said I have no display problems caused by the tv. What I have found is that some channels on DirecTV, even though they are broadcasting in HD, do not always display the picture properly. I have seen some movies that appear squashed in the 16:9 frame. In those cases, Wide Mode has to be manually set to Zoom or Wide Zoom. I have also seen the same effect on a couple of DVDs. I suspect that these movies, even though they are widescreen (letterboxed), have not been anamorphically corrected to display properly.
Hope this helps. If not, ask, and I will try to clarify what I have said.