I came across a few posts (http://forums.cnet.com/7723-13973_102-391250-1.html?tag=contentMain;posts) out there where Samsung consumers with various problems had contacted the Samsung Executive Customer Relations line (1-800-522-7341).
I figured it could not hurt. I had already attempted to go through their first level of customer support and opened a fix ticket back in February 2011 when I first experienced the black line issue. At this time, the warranty had been expired 9 months... so I was on the hook for a very expensive repair - not happy.
A couple weeks ago, I called the number above and gave them my ticket number from the reported issue in February. I asked if I could get some 'help' with the repair - e.g. I pay for the labor, Samsung pay for the parts (which are more expensive). The support specialist asked me to wait on hold while she looked into what she could do for me.
After a few minutes on hold, she told me that Samsung would extend my warranty for an additional 30 days (effective the day I called) and that they would cover the full in-house repair of my TV!!!! I nearly had an heart attack (like the day the first line appeared)! Within a week, a repairman came out and the set looks like new!
So to anyone else having an issue with their set (especially if you find similar issues posted all over the internet), give the number above call, hopefully they will come through for you as well.