I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new Sony DVP-NS999ES, especially since it's predecessor won countless accolades from the pros and happy HT consumers. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I preferred my current Toshiba SD5700 (which I paid approx. $220 for) to this pricey (but seemingly worthwhile) unit. It's not that the player was bad--far from it. It's just that the image quality, including sharpness, contrast, and progressive scan ability, couldn't compare to the Toshiba. I have been looking for a benchmark universal player in this price range, but for me, this was not it. Sony's multitude of picture adjustment options helped somewhat, but at this price level, I expect to be wowed, and, to put it simply, I wasn't. This player did sound wonderful for redbook CD's and SACD. Looks like I'm going to have to audtion the up and comers from Integra, Marantz, and Yamaha. I audio tested the Marantz DV-8300 and it was absolutely stunning! I urge anyone considering this DVD player to do so serious A-B testing with "lesser" units. You may be as surprised as I was!