Summary: I spent about 20 hours reading reviews and researching TVs before buying this one. I can't say I wasn't warned about the poor quality dark scenes with movies and, to an extend, TV. When I play blurays and the scene is dark there is dramatic gray blothing all over the screen. It looks like puffy clouds in a night sky. Many reviews commented on this but when I saw one in a store I didn't notice it, not sure why, so I bought it.
Summary: Had the television for about 18 months now and the picture is great as well as the internet connectivity however all of my HDMI outputs stopped working about 2 weeks ago, i tested the HDMI cables on a different television and they work fine so there is clearly something wrong with the TV internally, I expect more than 18 months out of a $1800 television.
Cons: screen uniformity seems pretty bad. Top left side of screen is not as dark as right. Contrast seems difficult to find a happy medium between nice dark blacks and being able to see detail in someones face or other object.
Summary: I have a 47 in XBR9 at home that i bought in 2007. based on my good experience with it we bought this tv for our oil platform rec room. its get lots of use and is generally on 24/7. The picture clarity is great, blue rays are very detailed when played through our PS3. I haven't been able to sit down and do the calibration on it yet because people are always playing madden or guitar hero on it in the evening-- so the color is a little off (kinda red).
Summary: I totally agree with J. Schmidt's review. The blacks are a total let down from this otherwise excellent tv. Always a big fan of Sony and owned several awesome Sony products from the good old days of cassette Walkmans. As mentioned, I can easily see white patches in all four corners especially in a very dark scene and is highly visible in a totally blacked out screen which is really very disappointing from the almost top of the line TV from Sony.
Summary: I bought the 52" XBR9 based on rave reviews (both consumer and professional) but I am sadly disappointed in it. The picture quality is as good as you'd expect for an HDTV these days but the black level and backlighting are a let down. It gets pretty dark but not as black as I expected from a Sony XBR in this price range. The back lighting is this TV's major flaw though. It is VERY noticeable.