Do these two sentences have the same meaning?
When we arrived, David had already got home
When we arrived, David was already home
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My intuition is that the first one leaves open the possibility that David was home, but left at some point. That is:
When we arrived, David had already got[ten] home, but had left.
is ok, but
When we arrived, David was already home, but had left.
has the ring of a contradiction.
I wouldn't lean on it too heavily. In most contexts, I think they are more or less the same.