It's really not hard to sort the Sony's. The 7000 and 7700 are well built and offer an excellent picture. They are very similiar with the 7700 being the newer of the 2. The excellent 9000 came out after the 7700 series and is built like a tank and offers SACD audio playback with superb picture quality. Then the 999 replaced it. The picture quality is a touch better but the audio performance is not as good. However, the 999 offers multi channel sacd Playback. Sony is on the verge of replacing the 999 in the next few months.
I used the 7700 with my Sony 36" xbr with excellent results. I, like you, am not particularly interested in audio playback. I have another system for that.
My 36" has just been replaced with a 40" direct view xbr. I'm now using the Sony 999 and couldn't be happier. The 40" offers superb resolution and the 999 holds up its end.
Changes are coming and I just wouldn't spend a lot on current players. Find something economical and sit tight a little while. What is available now will be obsolete before long.