First of all, let me thank all of you for putting such detailed information on this thread. Special thanks to MLXXXp for posting the test images and his repair experience.
Unfortunately things have not gone smoothly for our TV which has the halo problem (but nothing else). My experience with Samsung service has been terrible. Now I have to decide whether to exchange this set for another one (from crutchfield.com, excellent customer service).
The manufacture date of my set is 9/30. Does anyone know if the problem was fixed for sets manufactured after a certain date?
Read about my experience at this amazon review
I bought this TV on 11/30. It has a severe case of the halo effect described in the "Consumer Alert" above. Although I wanted to like the TV and keep it, I have to give it the lowest rating because of the halo problem and the terrible service to fix the problem. The TV is fine, but the halo completely ruins it for me -- it shows up as a blue/purple circular haze in the lower middle screen in a good number of high contrast scenes (extreme example: Harry Potter 5, chapter 2 - when Nymphadora makes her entry holding a point source light into Harry's dark room).
My experience with 3 Samsung service companies in the DC area has been horrible. The first two companies Samsung customer service scheduled for me never showed up and never returned calls. People from the 3rd one did show up but appeared completely clueless about the problem. By now I have this quite well researched -- I showed them various movie frames where the halo crops up, and I also showed them test images from avsforum (search for posts by MLXXXp on Samsung LED rear projector owners thread). But they wanted to take the TV away for tests and then decide what to do about it. When I showed them the consumer alert on this site they said they know nothing about that problem.
I also talked to a supervisor at Samsung customer service. She refused to assign another service company or have them perform the service at my home even when I suggested that I may have to return the TV. I pointed the alert to her as well, to which she said that Samsung can not be responsible for any alert that amazon puts on it's site.
Be prepared to potentially go through all this if you are buying it. Mine is going back.