Edit: This post should appear below the original poster's, which appears below. I don't know how it ended up at the top, don't think it was anything I did. Hopefully a mod can move it? I've had one of those flimsy plastic Sonys for almost 2 years now and love it. Mine's an HW40 model, predecessor to the WS500 line. I haven't found the plastic cabinet to be a problem, in fact it actually allows for more precise alignment of mirror and screen than a wood-constructed cabinet. My previous analog Hitachi had a nice solid feeling wood cabinet that made odd cracking noises when the central heat kicked on, the Sony doesn't. I've got a mid-sized center channel speaker and my HD-stb balanced rather precariously on top with no sagging. As far as picture, I think Sony has a better line doubler and definitely better variable stretch mode. If you're a big fan of pip, the Sony will let you have progressive scan dvd or even and HD scanrate pic as one of the side-by-side images in pip mode. Both makes are pretty tweakable.