I read thru the complaints about the S60's popping noise, and it sounded familiar. Look at my entry from 2008 concerning the PX80u:
"I've had my PX80u for 2 weeks. I heard a popping sound whenever I turned the station which I thought was due to my hd cable box -scientific atlanta, Comcast. I had a Panasonic technician come over and he seemed to fix it. However it's back again in full force.
The customer service person said that they had heard about this in their training program.
It's irritating to say the least."
I had forgotten that. My S60 hasn't popped yet, so we'll see. I'm past the return date at Best Buy. Just in case, I'm keeping my 2008 plasma - no popping, anti-reflective screen, broken in, (but screen door). I'm also keeping the S60 box, plastic wraps etc. so that I can resell it.
Regarding the argument of anti-reflective screen degrading PQ, I placed my S60 next to my PX80u. For me, the S60 is somewhat brighter but there are other factors involved (e.g., calibration) that should be considered.
Some popping noises are fairly common and due to heat expansion. As the set ages and the components settle, they usually diminish.
Now that my set is fully broken in, I bumped the panel brightness to mid from low. The only significant change was less posterization when viewing highly compressed broadcast content. Has anyone else notice this? I can only assume it has an effect on the gray scale.