5 Day update:
UPDATE on picture quality 6/29/2010
Quick tip I've found that most people don't do: For HD content, especially HDMI, turn your Sharpness down to 10 or less to get rid of jaggies. You will see a tremendous amount of jaggies out of the box on new tv's as they set the Sharpness way too high. You only need to turn it up for SD content.
I've had enough time with the tv to properly test things out and I'm still very impressed. There is definitely a little contrast degradation at wide viewing angles. It's not detectable unless you watch tv from the side of the room or you're looking for it. One thing I didn't like was how they named the Auto Motion Plus. Instead of Custom, Low, Medium and High, they call it Custom, Clear, Standard and Smooth without telling you what's high and low. You have to figure it out through testing it and that just added to the learning curve when testing the tv's functions on different stuff. I also noticed that if you set the Auto Motion Plus to high on some content you get some kind of judder/smoothing effect you don't get on low or medium. I personally love the Auto Motion effect on most content though. At minimum, I use the low setting on everything except videogames and it brings the picture to life.
3D impressions: I intentionally waited a few days get some experience with it. Where do I start? First I will discuss the effect 3D has on my eyes, then how it looks. I've been playing with the 3D a lot for the past few days and the results were very mixed. If you've seen the Monsters vs Aliens in 3D in the Best Buy setup then you know what to expect from animated 3D Blu-rays for the most part.
I was surprised to see such extensive settings while in 3D mode. The 3D itself has depth and optimization options along with another set of picture settings just for 3D and the ability to use Auto Motion in 3D to fine tune your experience. Again, turning down the Sharpness, especially while playing 3D games has improved the picture quality greatly. Overall I guess it shouldn't have been a surprise to see so many adjustable settings because this is the most customizable TV I've ever seen.
I don't wear glasses normally but my girlfriend does so getting used to that is taking some time for me. The glasses bothered me a lot the first day watching cable TV while not bothering her at all. It was similar to the feeling I got watching Avatar 3D in imax. I feel the eye strain after 10 mins or so of sustained viewing causing me to remove the glasses every few minutes to rest my eyes. After 5 days though, I must note that I'm starting to get used to it and it bothers me less and less. However, while playing 3D games this is not the case. I've played for 30-60 mins straight multiple times. It does not bother my eyes at all (very happy about that). More on the games in a min. Monsters vs Aliens 3D and 1080p videos didn't bother my eyes either, essentially proving the theory that the majority of eye strain from 3D comes from the source of the video you're watching. In my case this was very true. Low reolution sources like 2D to 3D cable is a problem for me while 3D Blu-rays and 3D games and 1080p vids DO NOT have the same effect on my eyes even after 30 or 60 minutes. I haven't watched a whole movie yet but will soon. I didn't notice any artifacts, ghosting, crosstalk or whatever but I must note that we have the rechargeable glasses and not the battery ones and I've read that the glasses alone can change your whole viewing experience. In my opinion it's not worth skimping out on the glasses after you've gone this far and bought the tv. Get the good glasses and avoid any silly issues others are having.
First thing I tried was the 2D to 3D conversion for SD and HD cable. Not as good as real 3D content on Blu-ray by far but not bad at all. At far camera distances, the effect is not as high as when close up. Close up it looks pretty good. Looks like a "light" version of what Avatar 3D looked like to me in imax. The SD stuff seems to be such a low resolution that it's probably only worth attempting to convert 2D-3D for HD stuff.
Next I tried a few of my 1080p mkv and m2ts files. We can't detect any resolution loss here. Very impressive compared to cable in 3D. Still looks full HD and the 3D effect is much more evident. Tried Alice in Wonderland, LOTR, Matrix and a few others. Turn on Auto Motion Plus with it and it's even more amazing looking to me. Not as "3D" as Monsters vs Aliens and there's no off screen effects on anything I'm converting but this is far beyond what I imagined when I heard "2D-3D conversion". We will definitely watch these 1080p movies like this on a regular basis now. It's very refreshing to look at my large movie library with renewed excitement after seeing this in action on my favorite movies like Lord of the Rings and The Usual Suspects which I've seen at least 5 or 6 times.
Lastly, I played some games on PS3 and 360 in 3D. Sony has put a couple 3D demos out so I tried MLB The Show 3D and Motorstorm Pacific Rift 3D demo. Both looked great but Motorstorm was exceptional. I liked it so much I went out and bought a used copy of this 2yr old game assuming there'd be an update to play the full game in 3D. Not the case. There's no 3D mode on the update I was prompted to install. I was baffled that they would put out a demo of something you couldn't buy and I'm still upset about their trickery but this gave me the opportunity to test the 2D-3D vs the 3D optimized demo. I'm almost certain that all the demo does is essentially put your tv in the proper optimized 3D mode and makes some camera adjustments because side by side, the 3D demo was almost the same as the full game running in 2D-3D. The demo however was optimized to extend the bottom of the screen out into your living room a few feet so at times, dirt and passing cars pop off the screen and fly towards you in a cool way. Very nice. I then tried a few 360 games this way. I tried Battlefield Bad Company 2, Blur, Red Dead Redemption and Modern Warfare 2. Blur didn't have as pronounced an effect as the others. BF2 and MW2 were insanely better than I could have imagined going in to this. I'm playing the BF2 campaign over again and it's really like a new experience. For lack of a better description, it feels much more like you are there moving with your characters in the dense jungle. There's nothing popping off screen or any of that but the depth of the environments and characters make it hard for anyone to argue if this is the future for gaming or not.
Reserve your judgement of 3D until you really see it because if there wasn't the barrier of buying ridiculously high priced glasses, this is all most people would need to see to be sold on this technology. To have a TV that can do this stuff to 2D content at this price is just plain sweet as hell. Maybe my expectations were low but bottom line is if I knew the conversion was this good on 1080p film and games, I would not have been so worried about it. I guess seeing IS believing.