Wow, I didn't notice that! Could it be that all Enterprise-D scenes in TATV were newly filmed on replicated sets? But if this isn't the case then it would indeed be interesting to watch an episode in 16:9 as it was filmed. (But I still wouldn't give my money in order to see them -- it'd just be interesting ...) Isn't here anyone who can answer the question whether TNG was filmed in 16:9 and then cropped off?
It's quite possible TNG was filed in 16:9 and then cropped, but the problem is, when they do that, th cameraman has a 'box' in his viewfinder showwhat will be seen in 4:3; so, if they are filming and in 16:9 they see plywood, a lighting rig, etc; they don't worry about it - so while it may have been filed with a 16:9 panavision camera/lens system; it was shot with only 4:3 in mind.
And I'm like those above in that I just bought two HD sets for my new house (a 73" Mitsubishi DLP and 5.1 sound system for the living room; and a 42" LCD wall mounted for the bedroom); and I will still always do 'pillar box' mode for shows and TV movies originally shot in 4:3 ratio (and I was a guy who prefered letterbox on standard TVs for wide aspect ratio films too).
Stretching is annoying whether it's done 'smartly' or not; and I find the real pisser about the TNT HD channel is sometimes the films ARE shown in 'true' 16:9 ratio (which still actually crops any Academy format widescreen films, but just crops in much less than a 4:3 pan&scan job); and at other times, they just smartstretch the 4:3 pan and scan version. I guess it depends on whether there has been a native HD tranfer of a film availble or not that they have available to them.