Well for what it is worth here is what I think. I had been researching HDTV's for the last month or so. I decided to go with LCD instead of plasma for a few reasons. Plasma still has a slight problem with burni-in, Plasma pictures still don't look that good when viewing from an extreme angle, plasma's are heavy. DLP's will have you replacing the bulbs every 3 years or so depending on usage, as far as I now that's the only downside [I really didn't look into them that much]
So I decided to go with LCD, now which 1? After looking at tons of reviews I decided to go look for myself. I went to Best Buy, Sears, Costco, PC Richards and 6th Aven Electronics. I came away from every store with the same opinions.
#1 Without a doubt the Sony's and Samsungs gave the best picture. I'm not going to get into backlighting,blackness etc etc, it just confuses the buyer and makes the process even harder.
#2 The 720p sets gave a better picture then the 1080p sets unless you were watching a Blu-Ray movie then of course the 1080p sets looked better.
#3 1080p sets were my 1st choice when i started this crusade because of it being the "newest and best" but after almost 3 weeks of searching a found it made no difference.
#4 I wasn't going to spend an extra $400 on a blueray disc player and then buy all new bluray movies so i could watch in 1080p. All content delivered on cable or satelite comes in 720p and is upgraded to 1080i. All 720p tv sets have 1080i capabilities [I am not sure if every set does but most do] So to me 1080p is useless and thus 1080p tv's arent worth the money if you aren't going to get the blu=ray player and blu-ray movies.
So after getting the 1080p craze out of my head I was able to narrow it down, which 720p[1080i] to get? I narrowed it down to the Sony and Samsung models. I was also narrowed down to a 40" set since it had to fit in my entertainment center. I finally decided on a the Sony 40S3000 at Costco for $999. That is $600 cheaper the the other 40" Sony they had that was 1080p, and $200 cheaper then any other 40" LCD i had on my list. After looking at both sets for a hour I couldn't tell the difference in the 2 TV pictures. With the $600 bucks I saved I bought a new Sony DVD player which upscales all images to 1080i and am looking at a Sony surround sound.
So in conclusion if getting the latest and best technology and spending more money for a technology that won't be used [unless you get the blu-ray] then go for it. But if your thing is to get the best bang for the money and an awesome picture as well go for a Sony or Samsung 720 TV, you won't be dissapointed.
I have had the Sony for over 3 weeks now and it is the best electronic purchase I have ever made. The picture is just awesome. Watching HD content is like being there, watching HD movies is better then being in a movie theatre and watching HD sports it looks like I am actually there. I know it sounds corny but it is true, I just can't believe has awesome the picture is.
Hope this helps.
P.S It took cable company's like 15 years to play HD content in 720[1080i] and with 1080p using even more bandwith it will probably be another 15 years before you see 1080p content delivered by them.
Well I just bought a new HDTV, my first in fact. Got a Samsung LN40A550. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend but when I compared every other TV to it its picture just blew everything else away.
I have it hooked up to my PC via DVI to HDMI and am able to play any game at 1920x1080. As far as I knew all the HD modes were resolution based.
But any of the Samsung 450/550 models are great. Mine has a 30k:1 contrast ration and I get all the DTV and HD channels over the air and they are just awesome. Which reminds me, tonight is the first time I will be able to watch Smallville in HD. I feel all tingly now....