I bought a U.S. Pioneer Elite BDP-95 after going to my dealer (he brought in some stock from the U.S.) and after testing all sorts of BD/HDDVD players, including the localised Pioneer LX70A, found that the picture quality seemed better. The test disc was Blu-Ray Pirates 3. However, bear in mind, you will have to live with some issues like I have:- 1) Need a step down transformer (given free by my dealer) but it adds another chunk of equipment & wires at the back of the rack. 2) The Elite BDP-95 is Region A only but I understand there are some dealers now offering region free models.
However, I still bought the player as the picture quality is amazing and it is actually cheaper that the locally available BLX-70A model. Firmware upgrades have to be done via the Pioneer U.S. website and i recently upgraded to version 3.20 with no bother (need a CD/DVD burner though....).
In the end, it's up to you but generally Pioneer Elite models (only available in the U.S.) seems to have that little bit extra. It's the same with the KURO plasmas where in the U.S., they have an ELITE range as well. Alternatively, the latest Sony BDP500 Bluray seems pretty good as well..and has that classy blue motorised panel and seems better built than the Pioneer.......
You say that your dealer (in the UK) is selling US-import stock? I sincerely hope that Pioneer built them and certified them to EU CE standards or else I think that he's trading illegally - in a big way since it's a mains-powered product!
I'm happy to be corrected, but I think that you can forget minor issues like import tax etc., just selling non-EU certified products here on a commercial basis is illegal isn't it?