The delivery guy refused to use the alley-side door to my building, barely grunting when I told him he could avoid blocking the street and I could avoid steps if he pulled the truck around. You might want to put special instructions to the carrier if you are using Threshold Delivery, but the guy didn't get a tip.
My 29-year-old and I had a similar struggle with the base, which seems under-engineered for the panel. We wound up with a variation on Dale Polk's direction above, letting the panel "rest" on its hook on the base and carefully tighting the screws like you would the lugs on a wheel. This loft has concrete floors, but I'd be really worried if I had this panel in a unit with soft floors and/or little kids running around. A wall mount would be a safety item.
It would be good to be careful about a stand, too. The IKEA Besta stand 802.184.58 is rated high enough both to hold the panel and have bays big enough for my Inifinity SM-series center chanel and my old-school Technics audio system. You can choose legs or casters for stand and having casters was handy for the set-up.
Since the cable modem and the router live in the same cabinet, the panel is connected to the router by ethernet cable.
As for audio, there is an HTPC for Blu-Ray and other streaming with video sent to HDMI 1 and the audio sent to the line ("through") on the Technics SH-AC500D processor and directly to the 6-channel input on the Technics SA-AX720 reciever. This gives the HTPC direct access to the Technics Class H+ amps and lets the HTPC do the processing (although the processor has DTS and Dolby Digital ability). The Comcast box sends to HDMI 2 and audio via optical to the Digital 1 input on the processor and again into the reciever. For good measure and to maybe use the VIA apps, we used another optical cable from the panel (in Dolby Digital, not PCM mode) to the Digital 2 input on the processor. We're using my classic, rebuilt (and unloved on AVS Forum) Infinity SM-series voice matched speakers in a 5.1 setting with a Klipsch subwoofer for low-end overkill.
This works pretty smoothly because the Harmony 770 Remote swtiches audio and video inputs at the same time, since it is programmed to know Blu-Ray means HDMI 1 on the panel + Line on the processor + 6-channel on the receiever and Comcast means HDMI 2 on the panel + Digital 1 on the processor + 6-channel on the receiver. As long as the Technics hold up and the Harmony works (it had no trouble finding the Vizio settings in Logitech's database, all the way down to the VIA button), I don't see a big need for a new HDMI reciever to do the switching and driving, especially since the Technics 110-disc CD and the Sirius Starmate are still in service as analog sources controlled by the receiver, too.
Of course, I'm using optical for most of the audio and your mileage will vary. All of this gear (including the Technics processor that was packaged with the receiver) pops up for cheap prices on eBay all the time, but I'd stay away from old speakers unless you are sure they've been rebuilt. I have to doubt a sound bar could sound as good as a 5.1 set-up, but others in your home might appreciate less gear.
We adopted the settings put forward by MyAppleBuddy before he returned his panel. It really is an amazing picture in both size and brilliance, versus the four-year-old 47" inch Philips (pre-Funai) I sold to a co-worker for $300. It is a fully entertaing experience with a panel this big and a good present to myself in place of the vacations I missed taking this year.
Will attempt to post images, too.