You might have this discussion in the HDTV Picture Settings forum. I'm not sure how to explain the differences beyond what you have - transfer and theatrical differences, and dark movies are the hardest to tune to.
Sharpness processes analog signals, but since you're using digital, it's best to keep it at 0. The TV does some processing as well, but there's really no sense in adding that additional processing.
The only think I can think of is going into your Detailed Settings menu and adjusting the gamma and working some of the other options around that. You may just find the sweet spot that represents your collection better that way. Just a thought.
I'm not trying to push you off, but I just don't have any answer beyond that. I hope that sentiment is taken with the intended respect.
I realize this may be a stupid question given that there are no universally correct settings. Research has shown it is based on room light, size of room, personal preferences, content source, etc. etc. However, I find myself constantly adjusting them and was wondering if there were recognized "standards" which are most pleasing.
All of my watching is with DVDs, I don't have any real 1080p sources, and I don't even have cable. I upconvert DVDs with a Samsung DVD 1080P8 hooked up via HDMI and am very happy with the picture quality. I have found recently that some movies (such as Resident Evil) which is a particularly dark movie, some of the actors look like they were wearing dayglo lipstick in the darker scenes. In other scenes, actors cheeks sometimes have odd hues, again particularly in dark scenes. If I finally get a single DVD looking great, then the next one is once again a bit off. Again, I realize the source is not consistent and some movies have much better transfers than others, but would like best possible universal settings.
As a starting point, I generally watch movies in the WARM2 setting, as I have been told this is the closest to reference material filmed.
Movie mode - WARM2
Sharpness - 0 (I have been told this does nothing anyway)
Any comments appreciated.