After months of research and testing, I recently purchased a Sony Bravia 1080p 46" XBR2 tv set. What follows are my experiences with the unit.
Out of the Box
Unpacking was simple and straightforward and Sony thankfully has cut way back on packaging material. It took me a couple hours to properly mount it on my existing wall-mount, due to vast differences between my old plasma set and the back design of the Sony (different screws, placement, etc).
As with most new flat-panel TVs, the default configuration after turning it on is too bright and too blown out, color-wise. HD cable looked harsh, Blu-Ray movies looked too contrast-y, and video games hurt my eyes. CNET and the AVS Forum have some good calibration guides with all the settings you'd want. Personally, I went with CNET's settings but I toned down the filter from warm2 to warm1 and I followed the AVS forum settings for the DRC feature.
With the new calibration settings in place, the picture quality really shined. 1080i cable feeds looked amazing, DVDs looked great, Blu-Ray a little better. While my Nintendo Wii (at 480p) looked a little worse than my previous EDTV plasma, my new Sony PS3 (review coming soon) outputting at 1080p looked absolutely fantastic with perfectly sharp text and life-like reflections. I didn't detect any cloudiness defects in dark scenes that some reviewers on amazon have found. During high action playback or fast camera pans, the 8ms response time did show slight pixelation at the edges of objects on screen, but not as bad as previous LCD TVs I'd looked at a year or two ago.
Standard definition TV looks pretty good on this set, much better than I expected (I'd read review after review of every 1080p LCD set on the market and how analog cable channels looked bad). With my Series 3 TiVo set at best quality, even analog cable channels are sharp enough to not show artifacts during anything but the highest action scenes.
I'm happy with the purchase and loving the bigger screensize (I went from 37" to 46"). I'm not a huge gamer, but games are definitely more fun and easier to play the larger your screen is. In regards to this set's resolution versus my old ED plasma, I would have to say there is a difference, but from 7 feet away on the couch it's not a huge one I was expecting. I'll write more about that point in an upcoming post.
I have the Sony wall mounted above a fireplace, in a living room with lots of windows. The brightness of the LCD shines through day and night, and definitely out-performs my old plasma in bright daylight. All my video sources are connected with a single HDMI cable (hooked to my Denon A/V unit), so I don't have to do much switching or even use the remote beyond turning it on (which I already programmed my other remotes to do) and I haven't had to use the included speakers because I've got 5.1 surround sound instead. After initial setup, it just plain works.
List price on the TV is $3799, but it's available at Amazon now for $3299 and I found street prices at most stores ranging from $3400-3600 for this model (Jan/07).