Finally went to Powerhouse...Panasonic 42PE30, 42PE50 and Sony KE-P42M1 in a row. The difference between the old and new Panasonics is NOT incremental or barely noticable, it is dramatic. It is MUCH brighter with deeper, richer, more realistic colours. The old Panasonic looks very faded in comparison (and pushing up the brightness and/or contrast just made the picture horrible). The new Panasonic even puts the Sony into the shade. At the risk of upsetting Panasonic fans, its approaching ALiS territory...you may find it too striking, in fact, and in need of calibration/setting. The brightness and colours have always been my problem with Panasonics, but no longer. It is the business. The surround is matt, not gloss black, and as others have complained it doesn't look as stylish as the old Viera, though...and the hi-def panels have only a specified 10% brightness increase versus the 20% of the standard-def... (that 20% looks conservative to the naked eye, I have to say).