My Sony KV-27S46, a 27-inch basic Trinitron as the name implies, purchased in 1999 for $420 plus tax, has an annoying new habit. The TV spontaneously generates the black background used for various menus. It does this frequently and the only way to get rid of it is to momentarily de-power the set. The original KV-27S46 unit had such a loud click from the internal power relay (the automatic switch that handles the high-voltage circuit activated when you hit the little power button on the front of the TV or activate the power from the remote) that I exchanged it for another new unit, my current, Manufactured in Mexico November 1999 TV. My ears may have been a bit over sensitive on that relay click, but the blacking-out of half the screen qualifies as a major shortcoming. What really annoys me is that this TV was pricey for its size and features. Of course, I knew part of the price went to pay for all that marketing and advertising Sony undertakes. But I was hoping for at least minimal quality control from a manufacturer charging top dollar in their product's category (basic 27-inch stereo TV's). This Sony replaced a 27-inch Sharp stereo set which had been working perfectly for the past ten years. That Sharp replaced another Sharp that had also logged in quite a few years of dependable service. I have been happy with the basic performance of the Sony. It's user-friendly (to me, anyway), sensibly laid out (both physically and menu-wise), and the color fidelity is quite good. But a major system failure four years into the TV's service life, even if it's a fairly-easily-correctable digital failure, is not reasonable. If Sony is going to project this image of making quality products, and charge top dollar for that image, then they need to deploy the quality control that will back it up. It is true that in today's world of cutthroat consumer electronics competition, all the major manufacturers have to have, for example, a $99 DVD player. And that means farming out production to a country with lower wages than Japan. Otherwise, they simply could not provide products at the lower price points and companies like Oritron would walk away with the market. But wherever their products happen to be assembled, Sony needs to give their customers the quality control for which they are paying. Until that time, when shopping for anything more complex than a clock radio, this consumer will be investing his cash in the products of companies that put more of that money into careful manufacturing and less into marketing.