Been reading this entire thread and the complimenting, dedicated HX909 thread as well, since I'm contemplating upgrading my KDL-46XBR2 to something bigger and newer. As many so keenly point out, 3D is in it's infancy, so don't expect mind-blowing perfection on that front and DO expect the tech to improve over the next several years. For me, 3D isn't a deal maker or breaker on this purchase cycle, PQ is. Frankly, I could care less about 3D. It's novelty IMHO. Cool, but sort of a fad.
That said, I'd like to volley some food for thought, since "clouding" yet again comes up in relation to Sony or more appropriately, in relation to LCD televisions. Here's some inside info and general knowledge for your edification: All the major players are moving to 'deep black', anti-glare and monolithic designs to not only improve the perception of black levels & color contrast but also to mitigate the detection of clouding. Clouding has absolutely nothing to do with edge lighting versus backlighting; it has everything to do with the nature of LCD panel design, with "liquid" being the key operative word here and the inability to uniformly control the suspension of said liquid to the level of perfection we might expect from something so expensive and high-tech. Clouding is more prevalent and most easily viewed off angle, in combination with certain lighting conditions. ALL LCD panels exhibit some level of clouding, it's inherent in the design. The bigger the panel, the bigger the phenomenon. The prob is, it's inconsistent and highly subjective (from the viewers perspective) at the same time. No matter if it's cold-cathode or LED backlighting, the tricks the mfg's use to diminish the "perception" are engineering fact. Dynamic dimming, localized dimming, sure those things are there to enhance blacklevels and contrast but clouding is a lack of uniformity in the physical process control of going black - so light source tricks also aid in cloud control.
So what's my point?
Clouding is variable but generally present and perceivable on ALL LCD panel televisions, learn to accept it and enjoy the show - so to speak. My 46XBR2 has clouding that from normal viewing positions is minimal at it's worst. It's affected by temperature, ambient light, run-time and program dynamic range - as is the corner flashlighting. Sony even did firmware upgrades/tweaks to diminish the perception of clouding on this series and the rest of the XBRs to follow. If you play with the HX800 and turn off all the bells and whistles, plus view it off angle, you'll see clouding as well, it just hides a tad bit better behind the darker exterior surfaces (if you will...) of these newer sets.
There's no such thing as a cloud-free LCD television. There are some panels built closer to perfection than others but they are ALL inherently prone to clouding. It boils down to liquids folks. Don't like it? Do plasma.
Thanks to everyone that's contributed in these two threads, your experiences have helped me a lot in evaluating these newest Sony sets.