There are absolutely no brightness issues at all with the ZT60 unless you are in a bright room.
In a dark room the tv is bright enough and if all the lights are out it will be too bright on certain bright content.
Ive watched a few tv shows and a full screen movie here and there and didnt think the tv had a dim picture. Though i did wonder how a brighter picture would look
I will echo the sentiment.
I think that the brightness concerns come from Value Electronics Shootout and a few people who complain because they expect LCD like brightness on ZT.
Regarding ZT vs VT vs F8500 brightness, David Katzmaier who reviewed ZT for CNET attended Value Electronics Shootout. He commented that he could not see brightness difference between ZT and VT at the event. He also mentioned that ZT measured brighter than VT in some picture modes when he reviewed them. However, he saw the brightness difference between VT/ZT and F8500 at the event and clearly stated F8500 brightness strength in his review, so if the brightness is very important, F8500 or a LCD tv would be a better choice.
From my experience, ZT has more than enough brightness. Not once, I watched the set and thought that it was not bright enough. In fact, I find an overly bright picture unnatural and tireing. HDTVs are not calibrated for high brightness output for a reason, and it is one of the main reasons that all 3 pros did not pick F8500 at the event.
ZT has an excellent filter, which combats reflections and preserves blacks well in a bright room. Therefore, ZT does not need to be very bright to look good in a bright room. Of course, if you have sunlight directly on the screen, the filter will not help you much, but no tv will look great under these conditions. My room has a large side window. I keep the blinders closed, but I live in Texas, so I still get plenty of sunshine in my room. Again, ZT brightness is not an issue during a day.