Personally, I would love to compare the XBR and Sharp side by side in my home... I have some pictures here of the Sharp vs. the philips. You should be able to see the black levels here
(which should be judged by how low the backlight goes down)
In my personal experience, the sharp has very similar black levels to the XBR (based on being at the store)
i'm not disputing that you think sony is the best.. i'm just offering more information on the subject that i've studied for awhile. i could be wrong too.
As for ghosting... that is very subjective. 16ms for the sharp is black to black. The sony has better response time 8ms (black to black?).
In this thread
JediPunisher lists the Sony as about 12ms Black to black.
I used the same test for the sharp and it came out to 15ms black to black.
My point earlier was that some can tell and some can't... I play Video games on my PC so it should be apparent. i just may not be that sensitive to it. Again, in real life practical application these are Milliseconds we're talking about.
I also suggest looking at the panasonic/while it does not have the features it has great black levels ( the adjustments for backlight are really great).
I've also spent so much time at the store and u know, the feeds really suck. connections are not always the same for every tv... it's not a controlled environment so i try not to base too much off of that.
IN any case, i'm glad you like your TV... that's whats most imporant anyways, while i don't agree about the black levels/ghosting, i know the sony is a great tv. it's not to take anything away from it. I'm just saying the sharp is not worlds apart like everyone makes it out to be.