After nearly three years of lurking, I thought I'd finally weigh in on my experience with a PN58B860 I've had for a month. What I've found is a wonderful TV that perfectly fits my particular needs. I have noticed some of the idiosyncrasies others have reported, but none of them have any effect on the quality, which I think is outstanding from all my sources - roof antenna via the DTVPAL DVR, Oppo BDP-83, Roku for Netflix streaming, Wii. Here are some observations:
1. Calibration: I used the Spears & Munsil disk that came with the Oppo. I also tried some of the settings in the calibration/settings thread, settling on this one:
I checked the results on Spears & Munsil to make sure it wasn't off. The results were a very nice and natural looking picture, at least to my eyes. Golf, hockey, opera, movies, bright and dark all look great (as long as the source material was reasonable). While such a setting may not work for everyone, it did for me. I'm sure a professional calibration would improve things further, but for now, ignorance is bliss.
2. Slow pans: Not jerky, on both video and film based material. Cinema smooth improved things immensely for 24p sources.
3. Black level: When the screen goes to all black, it isn't. But when I have real program material on the screen, even dark scenes in a dark room, I don't even notice it. Yes you can tell that blacks on the screen are lighter than the bezel, but they still seem black in contrast to the other onscreen information, even a star field. I suppose I'd really notice the difference if it were put up against a Kuro, but again, without the comparison, this ignorant slut things it looks superb
4. Horizontal Banding: I didn't notice anything until I saw it reported on AVS. I only notice it on screens with text and plain backgrounds, like the green movie preview screen. Even then it is faint. Bottom line - a non-issue for me.
5. Buzzing: It is a non-issue since I can only hear it in a silent room with my ear a few inches from the TV. My heart goes out to those who have big issues. I know I'd be extremely disappointed if it happened to me. Because of this potential issue, I bought the TV from a friendly local high-end audio/video dealer who gave me a great price and white glove delivery.
My only gripe is my inability to keep all the cables tightly adhered to the back of the TV so they don't show from the front. The stickum on the cable holders doesn't hold well enough. But they are asked to hold three HDMIs, the power cord, a toslink, a composite video and antenna cable (analog passthru for some Canadian channels). Perhaps some crazy glue would help?