Regular (non HD) channels often look lousy on a HDTV. Some channels have bars on either side, some don't. The aspect ratio also seems to change channel to channel. I often have to adjust it manually.
I still have a mid-90s RCA console 27" TV, and I find myself appreciating it more and more. The picture is sharp and consistent on all the channels.
I still love the HDTV for watching movies, but I'd give the TV experience a big meh.