Wholly samolley! I have heard from two different retailers in the northern VA. area that a REAL price on the KV-34XBR800 is at $2400. and available in late July. Trust this info.
BTW, it is to have DVI, totally and easily defeatable SVM. Beyond that, I do not know what else has been revamped over last year. Oh, they scratched the built-in HD tuner...gone, which makes it competitive $-wise.
Are you aware of the excellent article by (the excellent) Gary Merson, in "The Perfect Vision", March/April 2002 ? Granted, it is on the KV-34XBR2 but I am sure it is excellent insight on much of the new unit's performance characteristics.
I have gone back and forth on choosing a direct-view 16:9. Merson did not find the Sony to be without (my impression) notable faults...significant misconvergence on corners, black-level/contrast compromises, etc.
The Toshiba is going to come in this August at a realistic, over-the-counter price of just a little lower at about $2200. Also has faults re. the geometry and corners. It's discouraging. It seems that the Philips has gotten the most consistent positive reports (9817...now to 9818). I think that it is worth exploring...maybe on sale at CC in Sept.
Best wishes on whatever you do.