Choosing between a 16:9 and 4:3, I guess it depends on what material you watch the most.
For me I watch 4:3 mostly. And I don't like the 16:9 stretchers because they all deform the picture and that annoys me. Also, movie formats don't all come in 16:9(1.85:1). They typically range from 1.85:1 to 2.35:1, so even if I had a 16:9 screen size I will still get the black bars sometimes.
The sony has v-compression, another name for Auto 16:9 Enhanced Mode -- you can watch anamorphic dvds, just like with the widescreen, just a different screen size. I would think this a tremendous advantage to the sony, and has been very successful in the US. Don't see anything on stretch mode with the sony, but I'm not sure you really need it -- it distorts the picture to protect the screen from burn, and if you calibrate and keep the contrast down that should not be a problem. IMHO the sony is a much better alternative.
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