The latest TH55 update: Roberto, my poor abused Sony customer service guy, the one that keeps having to call me back (and hear about how unhappy I am), called today to find out if I had received the box they are sending(I had not). Sony's solution is to “buy back” my TH55.
Roberto is sending me a return postage paid box for the refurb and once he receives my fax or call with the FedEx shipping number, Sony will cut a check for the original cost of my new TH55. It seems like a round-about way to do things (since Sony could/should just refund the amount on my Amex), but as long as I get the refund I don't care how it happens.
In answer to all of the emails and posts asking about why Sony doesn't treat Little ol' me any better: They have no clue as to who I am. I did not call and serve attitude, I didn't try to pull rank, and I certainly didn't say “If you don't treat me well I am going to tell the whole world about it.” I called and acted like a regular customer. To the best of my knowledge the treatment that I got is exactly what any other customer could expect.
My advice to those that are experiencing a similar situation? Be firm. Tell your customer service represenative what you expect, and do not accept anything less than you feel is fair or reasonable. Good luck!