I bought the Toshiba SD-5970 before returning it and getting the Sony 975. Here's my take on the Toshiba:
- Upconversion PQ is fantastic: 720p and 1080i looks great, maybe a bit better than the Sony, but unfortunately I didn't have both players simultaneously to make side-by-side comparisons
- Switch Resolution button on remote: This on-the-fly switch button is a must-have for PQ fanatics who want to see what the differences between 420p, 720p and 1080i look like. Sony has it buried in their menu, and you must STOP the movie to switch (boo!)
- Zoom button on the remote: Once again another plus for videophiles; and again Sony has this buried in their menus
- Very cheap looking/feeling unit - facade is plastic, unit is very light weight... well, looks like a sub $200 DVD player! Sony on the other hand has a aluminum facade, better constructed case, and just looks classy
- Very unresponsive remote - I often have to push a button 2-3 times, even when directly pointing at the unit, to get a response. I also tried using a different universal remote, and same result; hence it's probably not the problem with the remote as it is with the RF receiver or just simply unresponsiveness of the OS (further confirmation of this is that I have to push the eject button at least twice on the unit itself to eject the disk!) This gets VERY annoying fast, and is the primary reason why I returned it.
- Cheap UI - menu looks very cheap, and problem further compounded by the bad navigation using the unresponsive remote
So in a nutshell, I recommend the Sony over the Toshiba!