I'd check home theater mag.
The xbr9 does not have the lowest black level of any display. Who knows how these guys test, but they've got an lnb650 beating out the sammy 8500 in blacks!?!?
The blacks on the V series get deep, they've been tested at .008 ft/L in HTMag (backlight at minimum), along with the XBR9. That's a deeper number than 0.05 cd/m, correct me if I'm wrong. With some ambient light in the room, the black bars are inky black. With the lights off, not quite as much. Put the set in eco mode with the backlight at minimum in a dark room, and you've got CRT blacks, but a dim picture.
Personally, I'd be interested in what someone could get on a black level reading with backlight at minimum and brightness @ 51 (this gives the deepest black I've seen, as the backlight dims until 51 on a full black screen). dsskid, what was the backlight at when you measured blacks?
Advanced contrast enhancer, say what you will about the feature, but it actually increases contrast, at least when I eyeball it. Whites get whiter and blacks get deeper. At the medium setting, if there is a dark enough picture on screen, the screen will dim, but setting it again on high will allow the whites to creep back up again. Auto-dimming is a kind of non-issue now with firmware updates.
I've actually found myself resetting white balance and putting hue at 0. I could never get acceptable saturation with hue set off of 0, although this is supposedly closer to industry standard. Color at 46-47 is nice, but put the hue at R4 or G5 or which ever method is giving more accuracy, it doesn't look right when color saturation increases. It does look excellent at around 40 on color, however, when these calibration numbers are put in.
I also can't tell the difference between 8 bit and 10 bit panels. I want to think it's a marketing thing. Samsung uses 8 bit panels.