Hey guys. I've been wanting to buy the PN51D6500 for months, but have held off because of this damned brightness problem.
I'm from Canada, but used the American Samsung site to contact an agent by live chat. I just chatted with her the other day (2-3 days ago I believe). At that time, she told me that firmware had just been released "recently, a couple of days ago." Initially, she told me it was available at the U.S. webpage, but when I told her it wasn't showing, she then changed her tune and replied "I am sorry, the firmware is not available on the website, instead if we create a request, the customers in the US will receive the firmware in a USB drive."
HOWEVER, she insisted that this firmware IS NOT THE SAME FOR CANADA. And, of course, the agent I talked with who was representing Samsung Canada (1) tried to assure me that there was no known FBR issues for this TV in his database, (2) that Samsung has a great 1-yr warranty and if anything was wrong with it, they'd fix it (yeah, right). I repeated to him several times that I was pretty much sold on this television, but before buy, I need to be assured that I will get firmware to fix this brightness issue. (I also insisted that LOTS of people have been complaining about FBR in 2011 Samsung plasmas on forums such as this one.)
I didn't really receive much satisfaction. However, he said that come Monday, a representative from the tech side of things from Samsung would contact me. I'll let you all know what comes out of that.
In the meantime, IF ANYONE CAN CONFIRM THAT THIS FIRMWARE (1) IS INDEED NOW AVAILABLE IN THE U.S.A., AND (2) IT BLOODY WORKS, then please make this information known. I really want to buy this damned television. It appears to be a really great TV, except for this issue.