So that statement (and what I know of digital photo editing) suggests to me there in an inherent dynamic range issue with plasmas and that's the issue that the 8500 potentially improves upon.
Seeing these in a B&M where it's not calibrated, where I have no access to a remote and where the lighting conditions are completely different from my living area is almost a fantasy. My last trip to a store was a complete waste of gas for those reasons. The reality is, I'll end up ordering one and I won't know what I'm missing unless I see the two sets side by side in the same space. I agree with you, that's the best way to really know which is better for me, but getting both in my house is a complete fantasy. For a lot of us, these forums and the opinions of others serve as a basis for our decisions.
Anyway, thanks for humoring me. I'll keep reading these 8500 threads for more info while I wait for panasonic to release their sets. June can't get here fast enough!