Sorry to double post, but perhaps this might help some thinking about the 2550. I HONESTLY wanted to keep it, and was quite excited about the Reon chip too, as I have a ton of standard DVD's that I just don't want to (or can afford to) buy yet again in the BD format.
I have the S350 (and still within the 30 days return period), and wondered the same. So I also went and bought the new Samsung 2550 to check it out. Well . . . . . .
watching the same scenes over and over on a rental (NetFlix) of the TV series Roswell, and some parts of the first Lord of the Rings (my own, so super clean!!!) DVDs, I could BARELY tell any difference in the PQ between the two players. This right there, could not justify the $100+ higher price of the Samsung.
But, when watching my brand new Residient Evil Extinction BD, the Samsung had some serious problems! When the typical rating, Interpol, and FBI warnings would show, the first screen up was the blue rating screen. Then that screen would pop up again, but with artifact lines through it from the right side, then the red Interpol screen would show, also with artifacts! When playing this on the Sony S350, after the rating screen there was a blue FBI warning screen, then the red warning screens. Quite weird! The rest of the movie seemed to play ok afterwards on the Samsung.
Now the deal breaker for me, was the info (display) screens. The Sony has a way better one, tells you the resolution (1080P, and if it is 60 or 24 fps), the type of video (MPEG, AVI, etc), what audio it is using (DTHD, DTS HDMA, etc) even the time into the movie (and press the TIME button again, and will show time left). The Samsung had some nice info showing as well, but most of it was useless. Never showed what type of video being used, and for audio it woudl just say ENG 5.1 (or something like that). And unless in the setup you selected to show all messages, even when you paused, there would be no time line. But select yes to messages, when you pause, then play, it had a fairly decent timeline up above, BUT! It would also notify you everytime there was a bonus view avialable, right in the upper left corner of your MOVIE!!!! DUH????
So with the artifacts, and not THAT much difference I could see with the Reon chip in the 2550 over the S350 for standard DVDs, and the poor info display, I could not feel that the Samsung was worth the extra $100+ over the Sony - not to mention around September 28th that the S350 is supposed to drop another $100 in price!!!! And BB WILL match that price (60 day price matching).
AGAIN: this was not to inflame any of you, or trash the new 2550. I bought it because I WAS going to take a chance on it being a keeper. Yes, I didn't play a thousand discs through each player, but even just once having artifacts in the one, and not the other, was not a good omen to me. The 2550 was on the latest firmware too (I checked multiple times, as my S350 took a few tries as well to find a newer version). I paused at the same screens a number of times with the standard DVD movies, and stared at the screen for some time, and at different distances, and could hardly see any different in the sharpness or PQ. Perhpas later on, Samsung might release some FW that may fix this, and might even add a better info screen, and allow the timeline to show and yet still disable the bonus view notice over the movie. But for that extra cost, I just was not willing to risk it at this time.
But there were still a few cool things about the 2550 - one of which was the bong sound when it was ready, and how the screensaver would be automatic (though rather dull and jaggy). And I did not find it noisey at all, nor heated up much.
So I hope this helps some of you, even a little bit. Thanks