Thanks to everyone on this and other forums for teaching a newbie about HDTVs and how to buy one. I decided on the large panny plasma and wanted the comfort of buying from a large store for set-up, support and peace of mind. After missing the recent Amazon/BB deals on a new 65" for first $2000, then $2300, I started hunting for an open box/display on BB, Amazon Warehouse, Pacific Sales, Fryes, etc., in NorCal. I just purchased one for $1758 from BB. Here are some of the particulars.
1. Paid $1758 for a set that was built around April/May 2013 and displayed for many months in BB and in one previous owner's house.
2. 2600+ hours logged in Status4.
3. Purchased and returned late last year because customer said it was 'too dark' for his use.
4. Ran the Screen Swipe and it seemed pretty good, though being a newbie made it hard to know for sure. Had rep show me a bad TV screen swipe as comparison and I can say for sure the panny looked much better than the bad TV, but the black/white squares were not perfectly uniform, though they seemed very close to it.
5. Used my flashlight and did not see any obvious cracks. Rep showed me pixels with the flashlight and said they looked fine to him.
6. Did not run any color slides. Rep said he found the color excellent. The rep knew about this TV from when it was first manufactured and displayed in BB, then sold to 1st owner, and finally returned to store.
7. Listened and could not hear any noticeable fan noise.
(a) Could this be one of the good fans made before Fall 2013 or should I be asking panny to do a foam fix? (Rep did not think there was ever a foam fix done, but was not sure.)
8. Listened and could not hear any panel buzzing.
9. All original accessories included (two 3D glasses, remote, directions)
10. A couple of small to medium scratches are present on the top left part of the frame (bezel?) (but not on the screen).
11. A couple of small to medium deep scratches are present on the pedestal (which is not an issue as I bought a wall mount)
12. BB lists the condition as "excellent". The rep was really knowledgeable and seemed really honest, which gave me a lot of comfort that it was a good fit and deal for me.
I then needed to complete the rest of the deal to have BB set the TV/audio up and running for this newbie.
13. $250 for Geek Squad TV delivery (52 miles), a (no articulation) Rocketfish Large Tilt Mount, and Geek Squad set up of TV on the mount. (Broken down as $150 for TV and $100 for Mount).
14. $500 for Denon DHTS-514 Soundbar (which is a ~16.7%, $100 discount).
15. $50 for Geek Squad to install the sound bar (so they get back $50 from the $100 discount).
16. $90 Panamax surge protector (also installed by Geek Squad).
17. BB rep threw in 3 free HDMI cables (retail 3 x $30/each), which is equivalent to a $90 discount.
18. Decided against extended warranty for now. I think I have 30 days or more to do it. Rep panned 3-yr. Costco ST plans and said BB was not doing "extended" warranties anymore, but rather, were doing their own warranty to run from Day 1 to avoid all the confusion on the differences between each insurer. BB warranty is $220 for 2 yrs. and $400 for 5 years. It is pricey, but according to rep, the best insurance out there. I will probably skip it and take my chances (while still getting some kind of coverage in Year 1 coverage from panny and Year 2 from VISA).
19. $206 CA tax.
I feel pretty good about the deal given my newbie status so I am hoping I did okay. Of course, the biggest thing is whether the TV is good, and I think it is. I would appreciate any comments (because I can obviously return it or even refuse delivery due before Feb 21.