I finally spent a few minutes powering up the serial VFDs I bought a month or so ago, they are all working. :)
And it's bright! :D Placing a filter over the front will increase contrast and make it much easier to read in bright conditions.
I will say that these are by far the easiest displays I have ever worked with. Powered it up with 5V, wired it through a max232 to my machine, 19200, 8,1,1 was its default serial config and it was running. Any text to the terminal showed up on the display. Special codes can place cursor and clear the display. With a little extra work you can write custom characters to the displays memory. Interfacing these with any microcontroller will be so easy and will save a bunch of io pins and code space not having to interface HD44780 compatible displays via a parallel interface.