We went for this Sony 40" 1080p LCD model at Sam's over the holiday. $997. Link.
This is similar to an S-series model there that was going for $1400 earlier in the year.
best, not the worst. The picture on HD programming is just fantastic; watched the games yesterday and it was out of this world how much more you notice. Sound is great (I've had ear problems this year, tho). We're all over-the-air reception and the digital tuner isn't too bad; there's a few channels that the converter box was getting that this doesn't, but on the same token, the channels are now coming in much more consistently/locked whereas the converter's signal was at times jumpy. (My discussion of DTV transition-related activities can be found in another thread, but let's just say I went to heroic lengths antenna-wise in our precise location).
And I may check out a picture calibration DVD. This model has Vivid, Standard and Theater picture modes that aren't so great out of the box... blacks seemed a little washed-out before I did some playing around with the picture controls last night. Or see if my nephew has a Pixar/THX title that I've read all have an optimizer in the Special Features sections. Link.
Probably not the greatest calibration, but for our purposes.... (Anybody who can comment on this? Fez?)
Still tinkering with connecting some of our older equipment. DVD player, despite a component connection maxes out at 480p. Progressive is better than 480i, but not much. Probably going to go in for an upconverting DVD player in the near future... maybe the Sony Blu-Ray. (The price of that at Sam's has already gone up by $50 post-holiday
). Haven't tried yet to connect the tube to our older receiver.
To the person who thinks that waiting will drive prices down, don't count on it. Prices of teevees always go up after the holidays through the Super Bowl, and this year there is the digital conversion in Feb. which might push more people to pull the trigger. Best time to buy is during the holiday, especially this year.