Well, to follow up my own post, it seems the LG TU720 and the LG KE970 are nearly identical. Both are called the "Shine" although I mostly saw that term used on the TU720; on a bunch of sites the KE970 was often just refered to by that model number. They do have slightly different specs though (quad-band vs tri-band etc). Perhaps this has more to do with the carrier than with LG.
The LG KF600 and the LG VX-8800 (Venus) also seem to be the same phone with light differences in camera, memory, SD support etc.
This "same-phone-differrent-name" (and specs) makes it hard to compare between carriers, which I guess is the point. Not very consumer friendly.
Sony KDL-52EX700, Toshiba HD-D3, Motorola DCT-6416, Popcorn Hour A-110, XBOX 360 w/HD-DVD