OK, I figured since I've hit the 200 hour mark I will give more impressions of my P42ST30.
First remember I'm a newbie at this stuff...
I highly recommend D Nice's panel prep method. Even if you "accidentally" watched a couple of hours of regular content, just start it now and don't watch anymore. I know that the purpose is to get even pixel aging for accuracy of settings, but I think doing this also results in sharper colors, with less bleeding.
I read the entire thread over on HDJ about the brightness flux. Now I've been keeping a critical eye on this TV since I bought it (it's my 4th counting returns of 3 GT25's) and I had not noticed a problem with brightness adjustments during viewing. However, after reading the thread I decided to pay more attention. To test whether or not my TV suffered from brightness flux, I watched a movie that I thought would be an excellent test, Dark City on BD, Director's cut.
All I can say is that I was very impressed with how my ST30 handled this movie. If anyone is familiar with it, you know that Dark City is filmed almost entirely in this eery night/twilight background. There are tons of scenes with inky black backgrounds, brightly lit lights, and plenty of shadows and contours. This TV really passed with flying colors. I actually got up several times to go stare at the screen during a particularly dark scene with good contrast of bright localized lighting and I could not see any brightness flux, or any light bleeding into dark areas, etc...
Tried that "binary butterscotch" hi def jpeg that someone posted a video of on You Tube with his GT30 doing obvious flickering, and the only thing I saw was a very brief moment of darkening of the blacks in the picture and then it was stable.
Watched the opening scenes of Inception because someone on the thread mentioned their set did a lot of this brightness flux on the first 11 minutes...nothing...lights and darks were rock solid.
Now, I thought that I encountered a very slight version of this issue one time when watching hockey in 1080i on digital network broadcast. But I watched hockey again yesterday, same channel, and I realized what I saw was the unit's interpretation of the camera flashes from people in the stadium sitting near the camera but out of view, adding a kind of backlighting effect with their flashes. Not once did the white ice rink alter brightness or shades.
As a matter of fact, the only thing I can produce that even comes close to being called this kind of problem is if I have the white slide on the screen from the D Nice panel prep method and I bring up the ST30's main menu. Then I can see the white dim noticeably. But again, that's only when viewing the slides.
Now again, I'm a newb and this is an uncalibrated set, but I definitely noticed the panel changing as I broke it in. The ST30's seem to be particularly...I dunno how to say it...stiff, out of the box. Colors looked a bit dull and it looked like the TV really didn't know how to handle gradients, etc...but after the 100 hour panel prep, I really noticed images looking very sharp, colors bright and well defined, no bleeding into each other. They seemed more accurate. Fast motion scenes held their color well as they quickly passed across the pixels. And then I really noticed another marked improvement right around 180 -190 hours.
Let's see...about the only other issue is when I choose 48hz while watching something on BD with the player set to 24p I can see flickering in bright lights on the screen. When I change to 60hz, it disappears.
The buzzing has not gotten any louder at all. It's quite soft. Heck, it vibrates at the same frequency as my fridge motor so for all I know it could all be caused by dirty electricity from the utilities. They operate at 60hz so there has to be some interference. Anyway, I can only hear the buzzing with audio off and sitting within 6 feet of the TV and even then the other electrical sounds in the house tend to drown it out. It does change pitch with different colors but since I can hear the high-pitched whine from a CRT tv from any room in the house it really doesn't bother me at all. Of all my electronics the TV is probably the most quiet of the bunch.
As far as dead/stuck pixels I only have two. One goes dark on blue slides and one goes dark on red slides. I can live with that because they both fire properly on all other colors.
I have not been able to watch any native 3D content yet (waiting for my Avatar BD), but 2D-3D is cool to see at first but after a while it's not really noticeable unless there's some kind of graphic up on the screen then you really get the depth perception. The TV syncs up easily with my Xpand active shutter 3D glasses.
Oh yes, I am getting audio stutter on Netflix, but that only started recently, so for now I'm assuming it can be fixed with a firmware update. Plus it's not that big of a deal for me because we have the DMP-BDT210 and that Netflix shows more movie choices anyway for some reason so we primarily use it for streaming movies.
In conclusion, I know the ST30 line is the lower, high end model and I know it is far from perfect. But I really think it is the best value on the market for a 42" full HD, 3D television for under $1000. I am definitely a happy ST30 owner.
lol, now watch since I put this glowing review up my TV will develop some intolerable defect and I'll have to recant...