I'll bite.... and paste this in below from the face-off I recently did in an effort to upgrade from my Samsung bd-p1200 with hqv...at 1st i thought the Panasonic bd55 had won...then...the rest is history and I own the Sony...However I'll agree with previous poster, Ya cant compare this with a product NOT out yet...
"Call me crazy but...I just bought the 550 again, after returning 1 just a few days ago when I thought the Panny 55 won the face off in my home.
After further viewing with the 55, I am frustrated with the loss of detail in shadows that I cant dial back in with my setup, almost unnaturally contrasty. I actually think I got "eye fatigue" from Panny's contrasty image. Yes it is sharp as all get out on bluray, but so is Sony.
I am frustrated with Panny's inferior slow tray operation and menu speed(with all the audio options I use, I like the speed, ability and ease of the Sony to pause play, go back to set up, change a "priority" and then resume play where I was). Xmedia bar absolutely rocks compared to Panny setup.
Bluray disk pop-up menu speed was faster on Sony, period.
The remote controls are pretty even but I preferred the Sony. I like the avr volume button on the Panny, nice touch since I dont like universal remotes.
The Panny picture may look a bit glossier but I am not so sure that it is actually the more natural picture, almost neonish compare to Sony on truly reference frames from movies.
The Sony matches Panny at 5.1 analog out quality using DDTrueHD and DTShdMaster...Sony is a keeper.
The 550 is not getting the deserved credit in reviews. I think the Panny is the "sexy pick" due to the rave reviews and great performance but, Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda and Band of Brothers looked equally good, easy on my eyes and maybe better."
Aestethics and feel: at 7 pounds it feels sturdier and more hi-end, doesnt budge when you touch a button on it face, it just plain works.
The audio via hdmi to monitor is superior because the "widened" 2 ch mode is superior to the Panny's "dialogue enhance" feature which drops alot of other sounds to low than acceptable level... We do enough watching without surround on so it does matter.
Sony's hd sound via the 5.1 analogs is just flippin fabulous.