like you, I spent months and months researching the "best" tv. When I narrowed my options down, it was between the 7100 and a plasma. What it came down to, for me, was that if I go LCD, I get problem set "A", and if I go with plasma I get problem set "B". And this was true for any manufacturer - it was just a matter of which company I could gamble on as far as having the least amount of problems.
If I had a media blackout room - with no windows, I would have gone with plasma. Given their advancements in addressing previous deficiencies, and the better picture - that would have been my choice. However, I have a normal living room with normal windows, that gets bright during the day. Therefore I went with LCD.
The 7100 is a great TV. But for me, it's not perfect. However those imperfections are FAR away from me being concerned. I'll go over the pros and cons for my 7100 and my experience.
: great bright picture! The colors are amazing. And like one website stated (forgot which one), the "movie mode" is almost a near-perfect factory preset for color representation.Gaming
: I've had the ps3 and ps4 hooked up to it via a yamaha receiver. There is 0 lag that my brain can detect. I AM NOT using a game mode setting. I'm playing pinball, assassins creed, killzone, batman arkham origins, etc.. all just fine! I notice NOTHING concerning game lag time. The was a big plus for me. In fact, I was surprised I didn't have to change anything on the tv for games The set itself
: beautiful. The brushed metal frame makes the tv pop as a piece of furniture. I never realized how much I hate the standard black plastic bezels.The black levels
: In my opinion... AWESOME (for an edge lit led). However, I'm coming off of a sony rear projection where the blacks were grayish. So my opinion is amateurish. But review sites seemed to like the black levels - so I'm sure they are good.Smart TV feature
: no clue on that. I use roku, plex, and apple tv on this unit. What I do know is a few seconds after I plugged the TV in an ethernet port it was downloading firmware updates.
If I'm forgetting something, just ask.
You're probably here to learn about these topics: clouding, flash lighting, light leaking, and the display angle. Remember, this is MY experience in the game of "LCD roulette"Clouding
: yes - I have it. The tv seems to have 2 black modes. One where the LEDs turns off, and one where it is illuminating the color black. You will see the former when switching to a commercial break, for example, and the latter during something like movie credits - and this is where I see clouding. My clouding extends in a dull band from the left middle-edge to the right middle-edge with various breaks. I have NEVER had the clouding interfere with tv or movie watching or gaming - EVER. You simply don't see it when the TV is being actively used. My only concern would possibly be for a movie like "Gravity". But even then, I doubt I would notice it much. You can read up on tips to lessen the clouding. I would consider mine noticeable enough to see it, but faint enough to not worry about it and go through the hassle of a return. Also, none of my friends have noticed it - so who cares.Display angle
: I guess it's in line with LED in general. I'd say about 30 degrees on each side before washing out? I thought it would be a concern for me, but it has not been.Flash Lighting
: NONE (as I understand the problem and seen pictures of flash lighting)Light leaking
Issues with different aspect ratios and cropping; none. I think I'm using "fill to screen" mode - or whatever it's called. Everything is displayed correctly
Issues with running everything going through my yamaha receiver: none
the 3d: it's actually pretty cool - but I never use it.
I did post one problem of the display flickering on me. You can find my post. But it's only happened 3 times in 8 months, and the fix was to just turn off/on the TV (it's like the led's got confused what state they were in).
To answer your question directly: Do not hold me to this, but, if you were a good friend of mine I would recommend this TV and I would advise you to buy it if your budget allowed. But it's still ultimately up to you. Prepare yourself for NOT getting a perfect 7100. Remember, this is LCD roulette. You know my problems, so maybe compare your set to my set.