First of all, do not confuse digital v. analog with HD v. standard definition. HD signals are all digital, but standard def signals can be either digital or analog. It is ANALOG SIGNALS that will go away next year; some (if not most) TV will still be at standard definition after the switchover.
Secondly, I notice that you had a Sony in the W3000 series. My TV, a KDL52XBR4, is somewhat similar. I too was horribly disappointed in its SD performance out of the box until I discovered that its default settings were not optimal for viewing SD pictures. A simple tweak to the defaults of the DRC mode and palette settings, including turning DRC mode completely off (it comes preset to Mode 1) GREATLY improved (I mean a really HUGE improvement!) the quality of the picture for standard definition programming without adversely affecting the HD picture quality from any source at any resolution. Also, turning all motion enhancement off brought about an improvement, but not as great as the DRC thing.
(I do not know for sure that the W series sets have these adjustments. I'm glad my set does, though).
I also use "Full Pixel" in my display resolution settings.
I also have my home theater system, audio and video from all sources, fed via HDMI cables through an Onkyo receiver that upconverts everything to some extent. I must say, though, that my Sony BDP-S300 Blu-Ray player does an absolutely FABULOUS job upconverting standard definition DVDs (I also have a Toshiba HD-A30 HD-DVD player that does an OK job upconverting but nowhere nearly as smooth as the Sony).
Please understand, however, that because your screen is so much larger and sharper you notice shortcomings in standard definition broadcasting far more emphatically than you do on a smaller-screen standard definition set, or on the usually blurry SD projection sets. You are not actually getting a worse picture, just a much bigger one where the lower resolution is much more apparent, PARTICULARLY when compared to 1080i signals from the HD Theater stations (or the magnificent 1080p pictures from Hi-Def disks) and whatnot.
New stuff often makes content designed for the old stuff less satisfactory, simply because the new stuff is so much better and it suffers from the comparison. What're you gonna do?
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