You really weren't able to compare both displays since the ZT was removed from your home when the F8500 was delivered. So in all fairness, you really aren't comparing anything. You are going by memory and what you think you remember which has waaaaaaaaaaaaay to many variables involved.
I will trust the pro's who actually do have these TV's to compare as well as the equipment to test. Opinions and perception is questionable.
I really don't understand why F8500 owners cannot just give in on this one. You have a great TV. The blacks do not equal that of the ZT. Done! There really isn't anything to argue over that. The F8500 looks better in a day lit room over the VT60. At night the VT60 will have better blacks then the F8500 and equal to that of the ZT60. In the daytime the ZT60 blacks will be blacker then the F8500 and the VT60. The F8500 will get brighter then the ZT60 and VT60.
Now if you want to bring in the ST60, I have seen mixed reports but some say the blacks in a dark room are equal to or better then the F8500. This is for a whole other war. hahahah
and I dont understand why there is this black level war?
There is more too it than that...its conceivable that if black levels are fairly close you could prefer the TV with the higher black level...
Other attributes could make that TV more favorable for you
I am a perfect example...I prefer the F8500 to the VT
I also got one of the crazy deals on it that Conn's was having....