A new thread on dpreview, the guy got his FZ100 Christmas Eve, played with the settings as described (NR-2, S+1), and was about ready to return the camera when he figured, what the heck, let's try changing those settings. And he says he got better pictures by putting NR at 0 or even +1/2, depending on sensitivity. Now he's decided to keep the camera.
So what makes his experience different? Mine arrived a week after his, and when I checked the firmware version, it was already running the latest (released end of November). So I wonder if the firmware update made it unnecessary to turn NR down?
Tomorrow the kids are back in school and I still have the day off (weird, since it's an official stat-holiday); maybe I'll grab the camera and go do a little "hunting".