there is a certain tact sharpness with the 5000 that i haven't seen with the other units, other than the 1200. the upconversion on standard dvd's is awesome.
Yup, so far my 5000 is great. It is VERY clear that the 5500 is just a downgraded cheaper model so if the stuff they take out is not important to you, go for it. If it is, buy the 5000. That is pretty simple.
OTOH, if the other studios jump to Blu-Ray, forget the whole thing and by a Panny. Although this would be the smart thing for the studios to do, when is the last time all the studios did the smart thing?!
Nope, the format war will drag on, and on, and on, despite what consumers want or even what is good for the studios. So there will be a place for combo players for a couple years yet and after that if you bought any HD-DVDs (thank heavens I only rent them, not buy them).