As BluRay is all over the map and subtitles may or may not be done in a standard way, the fault, and this is my view on the issue is the BluRay industry. They work hard on DRM, copy protection and more that the basics are lost. I don't have a lot of BD titles and don't foresee adding any more.
Item 3. Another deep question. Good one. But as folk will debate endlessly that a setting is better than the other you won't find any clear answer there. If something was clearly better, why would the makers offer the settings at all?
I like the general quality of Panasonic products, but there are numerous little annoyances which other brands seem to have avoided.
Annoyance 1: I just bought the SC-BTT490 Blu-Ray Home Theater system. I have a Panasonic Viera TV and the integration with compatible products was one of the main reasons for the purchase. I can control my Home Theater and TV with the remote supplied with the Home Theater...ALMOST.
While I can use it to turn on the TV and the HT system (so I can listen to the TV through the system) and I can control the volume, I CANNOT CHANGE THE TV CHANNELS!!! There is no control on the remote for this, so I still need to keep the TV remote handy. (The HT system I have replaced, a Sony, had both VOL and CHANNEL controls on the remote and was able to do this even though it was controlling a Panasonic TV!)
Annoyance 2: There is no dedicated Subtitle button on the remote. When watching a Blu-Ray disc, this is only a minor problem, but when watching a DVD it's a royal pain in the butt. After starting a movie, if you decide you'd like to turn on the subtitles for a bit, you have to exit out to the main menu, choose subtitles in the disc's setup menu, then start the movie over again from the beginning!!! Yep, it doesn't resume playing where you left off!!!
Annoyance 3: The User's Manual is not very clear on what the many of various settings and options actually do, or which are best for a desired setup. They often merely state that a setting can be can be on or off. Maybe the annoyances 1 and 2 can be resolved...but if so, the manual is of no help.
There are annoyances, but these are, to me, the biggies.