John, perhaps a PS3 might be fun for everyone upstairs. That might be something we do down the road a few months, especially if this Sammy 1000 has given up the ghost as a viable Blu-ray player. Downstairs in the theater, I need something that can be rack-mounted easily and has analog outs and built-in audio decoding so that I won't have to upgrade my Yamaha RX-V3000 receiver in the near future. That's why I've pre-ordered the Pioneer 51D and also considered the new Panny and upcoming Sony models, too.
teo, thanks for the offer to test discs, but I don't think it's a problem with particular titles. A random sampling of my 47 Blu-ray movies the last couple of days seems to confirm this player will no longer read any Blu-ray Disc. Until your suggestion, I had actually never played a CD or a DVD in this machine, but I tried both this morning and it does play both of those formats perfectly. So it might get bedroom duty as a CD/DVD player if the Blu-ray functionality is gone for good. That might save it from getting shot through (and I've already spoken with a buddy at work who is into firearms about options in that regard -- I was thinking a slo-mo YouTube video!)
Oh, well. The Sammy 1000 purchased at a big discount did let me participate in the "early adopter" phase of Blu-ray. I guess it was my first-year Blu-ray tax. My first DVD player, a Toshiba from 1997, also didn't last -- but it went for longer than the Sammy did.