Well Blade Runner is simply incredible, the movie was always ahead of it's time but for those who remember watching the original the film was always grainy and dark. Part of the makers wishes to keep the look of course but playing in BluRay is just sweet. The blacks are so effective to the story you owe it to yourself to take another look.
No need to go into great detail but in summary...if you're willing to wait the added seconds for the Pioneer to load a disk the reward is worth it. Samsung from power on to insert disk to load and receive the menu screen is just under 60 seconds (not bad at all). Pioneer is 105 seconds (still not bad). I noticed no difference in the sound quality...nada. The video, Ray Charles could make out the differences. Hands down the Pioneer provided a crisper picture with detail the Samsung couldn't come close to. I honestly thought going in the differences would be subtle (and maybe just in my head to justify the higher price) but there was nothing subtle about it. WOW
I'm not going to take time for the audio out comparison. The HDMI rocks and I can't "see" getting a significant upgrade in acoustics when taking into consideration the much more important components of room dynamics, speaker type and placement, power supply challenges, etc.
Anywho, thanks a million for those that contributed. I sincerely appreciate their efforts and will continue to take part in the discussion.
Thanks for the update and great that you are so pleased with the end result. Personally and it is a personal opinion only, I think you are right to stick with HDMI, my reasons briefly are:- too many cables, the problems with no speaker distance setting and the low sub-woofer levels some are experiencing, good quality HDMI, IMHO, will always provide a superior audio connection, because of the way it is made and superior bandwidth, compared to the average (mainly down to cost) RCA cables many will be using (seven can be expensive) and some AVR's only apply limited, or no, automatic room calibration settings to their analogue inputs. If you have them try some of the more recent BD's originally produced with DTS MA soundtracks e.g. Inception, Salt, Avatar and the 7.1 Golden Compass I think you will find out how good the 51/05 really is, some of it is astounding.
Best wishes, Rick