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Harv, not sure if this goes to your comment re: compatibility with anamorphic lenses, but the brochure found at the above link states the following:

"Featuring a wide range of aspect modes, including ones for anamorphic lenses. (JUST/4:3/16:9/S16:9/14:9/ZOOM1/ZOOM2/ H-FIT/V-FIT) NOTE: The selectable modes vary depending on the input signal."

By the way, I believe the manual is a bit misleading. On page 61, it shows V-FIT available for certain signals input via HDMI. On page 62, as you mention in your post, the manual states "(Not available with HDMI signal.)," however I believe that statement refers to the phrase immediately proceeding it. In other words, you can use V-FIT over HDMI, but you cannot manually adjust it with the up/down buttons. I have the PT-AE8000U and while viewing a 1080i signal over HDMI (DirecTV), I can choose V-FIT as aspect ratio but cannot manually adjust the setting.