That's a really nice test pattern! It's good for the dark stuff. There needs to be a similar pattern for the top 64 levels too, 192 to 255, to calibrate for white crush.
When I had my Sharp D62 for a brief time last year before returning it because of (no points for guessing) banding, the way I calibrated it was to hook up a PC via hdmi and show greyscale gradients from 0 to 255, similar to these test patterns here, and mess with settings until I had the blackest black I could get yet still see the 1 or 2 level so that blacks aren't crushed, and also adjust so that the whites aren't crushed either.
What I found to be a common response to settings on both my Sharp and on the assortment of Sony XBR's we have at work is to first calibrate for black level and black crush using the Brightness setting. Once that's done, adjust Contrast (or Picture as Sony seems to think it should be called) until the white crush is gone. Contrast adjustment doesn't seem to affect the black level setting, but adjusting Brightness does mess with the white level setting.
Once those two ends of the ranges are set, then mess with Gamma to get the "feel" of the greys from being too bright or dark to just right. Gamma should not interfere with your carefully tuned black or white level if they've done it right.
I use this same technique on my Dell 2405 and 2407 monitors here at work and at home, and it works well. For instance I have the blackest black I can get out the things and I can distinctly see all 64 shades in vtms's example image here.
For those who have the sets so far it seems your methods for calibrating is more of just eyeballing stuff and wondering. I'd be curious if calibrations made to show a full 0-255 levels will reveal if the set really does have black or white crush and can be made to truly show everything in the image.
Another thing to realise about black levels is that not all source material is really black. When I tune my stuff for black then start watching movies I realised that some movies actually have blacks that are level 0, but a lot of material the "blacks" aren't 0, they're perhaps 3, or 5. So if you tune your black levels based on one of those movies/dvds/whatever then you're going to have black crush on other darker material. So if you have your TV tuned right some stuff simply is
going to have slightly grey blacks, because that's how they made the DVD encode. So you either deliberately introduce black crush or put up with some stuff that's a little on the grey side of black.
You guys with the 81s I applaud your efforts in sharing your findings with us
Keep up the good work! I may only post once per thousand years, but I'm definitely here reading your comments.