Summary: Since One Call has dropped the price for this set down to 3K I've been thinking about getting one. The only thing that has stopped me is all the stories about banding that I've been reading here. Yesterday I emailed sony support and asked them if they consider banding a factory defect or do they thinking banding is acceptable and still within factory specs. Here was their response from Noah: This model does not have any technical issues which you mentioned.
Summary: To start, I have been a Sony XBR series fan since I first purchased a 40" XBR 6 in early 2009. After that, I stepped up to a 52" XBR 9 that I got just before Super Bowl Sunday in 2010. I wanted to make the jump to this model earlier, but didn't want to drop the 5k asking price when it first hit the streets. A few things stand out about this television. I won't mention sound quality, because most who purchase a TV like this have a surround system to hook it up to.
Summary: The picture is excellant. The sound that comes with the TV is so-so for what you pay for this set. I feel you shouldn't have to go out and buy an additional sound bar to get good sound but you will.