Sorry to hear about your frustrating experience.
The player is packaged with a composite cable because not all televisions can accept a 1080p/720p signal, therefore the lowest resolution is set by default. Simply changing the resolution would have allowed you to get the signal to the television via HDMI also.
The BD-Wise allows the television to communicate with the Blu-Ray player and decide on the best way to send the signal. There are a few critics of the technology who feel that outputting the signal from the Blu-Ray at the highest resolution produces a better picture, and actually prefer the BD-Wise to be off.
My son and I just finished setting up his brand new Samsung HTBD1250 home-theater-in-a-box with his brand new Samsung LN40B630 HDTV. Suffice it to say, it was a FRUSTRATING, nearly-day long experience. I could bore you all with details of our troubleshooting efforts, but the punch line is that we were never able to get video on the TV using HDMI until we turned off BD Wise (and to do that, we had to hook up the composite video cables to see the menus). Has anyone else had this problem? I'm assuming the answer has to be "yes", since at one point we dragged the HTiB and the HDMI cable to BestBuy and they were unable to get it to play on the exact same model TV in their store! Also, if I leave BD Wise off, what do I have to do each time I play a DVD or BlueRay disk to get the best performance?