$1,000 - $1,500 USD (i would prefer to stay toward the lower end of my budget so that i might use the leftover money to put toward some audio equipment.)2. Seating distance
9 - 10 feet3. Size/placement limitations
i have a very large stand or could alternatively wall mount, so i don't suppose i have any real limitations other than my wallet. 4. Uses and sources
hd cable - primary day to day viewing will be via a comcast hd stb.
blu-ray - i will certainly be getting a blu-ray player shortly after i get the tv.
htpc - my htpc usage will be rather frequent, the source being hdmi passed from a radeon hd 5770. a lot of movie watching and also some gaming.
console gaming - xbox360 and wii5. Room lighting
the room is quite dark no matter the time of day with very, very little natural light. the incandescent lighting is generally kept on the dim side, too.
i'm simply overwhelmed with the array of choices in the hdtv market these days. i don't even know where to begin. i have looked over the seating distance charts and used the calculator linked from the opening of this thread. i've also considered my viewing distance in terms of resolution, and if i understand the data correctly, at my distance of 9 to 10 feet i should stick to a 720p set. i don't believe i can afford the screen size necessary to take full advantage of 1080p. please correct me if i'm wrong on that point, though.
as for the dizzying amount of features available from set to set, again, i'm not sure where to begin. with my lighting, i'm under the impression that perhaps a plasma would be a better choice, but then i start reading about all this burn-in business, not to mention it seems as though manufacturers are abandoning plasma technology. so if someone could at least confirm to me that lcd is a good choice, i would very much appreciate it.
beyond that, i'm open to any and all suggestions. this will be a big investment for me. i'm going to be putting a majority of my tax return into this tv, and i'm not the sort to continually go out and buy the latest and greatest (can't afford it, hah), so i want a set that will last and give me plenty of enjoyment for some time to come.