The 7600 was about as bright as any LCD tv I saw in the stores when I purchased it. Even when one might be a bit brighter, what advantage is that? I don't run the 7600 at full brightness, it is far too bright for a good picture to be obtained. And not getting good definition further confirms the picture is being set too bright.
There are three settings that affect the overall brightness other than brightness and backlight, and I am convinced some are using them perhaps not understanding what they do. The eye care control does not dim the picture overall. What it does is prevent a bright area of the screen from going past a certain limit. You will rarely see any difference using it on indoor scenes for instance, but outdoors with a bright sky in the background you will see that area be not as bright. If you have this on the TV might appears less bright if you are comparing it to another set.
In addition I had an email from someone here asking me a question and I found he had the Tru Motion set to where it dims the whole picture. He was thrilled with the TV once we turned that to either off or a setting that does not dim the picture.
If you use local dimming and use the highest setting it affects the brightness, in my opinion too much. If you watch carefully, Low really does the job. It is not instant, and I can guess some are thinking low does nothing. Wait for a scene where it should be darker, put local dimming to low and wait and watch for a second or two. It will gradually darken areas that should be and probably just about correctly. High actually deforms the picture in brighter scenes, it can be seen in the sky with clouds.
The 7600 is not the best TV ever,
but it does produce an excellent picture with very good faces if you take the time to know what a control actually does and get it set to your tastes. I was glad to see Cnet join the other reviews that feel this TV provides a good picture overall. By the way I am not surprised Cnet felt there was a problem with overall uniformity judging from their recommended settings. They are using high local dimming. I don't believe other reviewers are recommending that, though I could be wrong. Even if they are, I respectfully say that is not going to produce the best picture.