Ok, so after much debate, research and in-store testing of the different brands, models and overall performance, I went with the Samsung 55" Class (54.6" Diag.) LED 8000 Series Smart TV:http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN55D8000YFXZA
There were a lot of variables I used to reach this consideration, but in the end, it wasn't really a contest. I was very much set on purchasing a Plasma, as they are very price-competitive in the market right now, with a very strong picture. However, when you set the Plasma next to an LED, it is a dismal, sad and distance 2nd to the LED. I couldn't bear the thought of going home and watching content on the Plasma, while thinking of the LED.
Granted, it ended up costing me quite a bit more, but I am in this TV for a good 7-10 years, at minimum.
I have had it for just over 3 weeks now, and I just can't rave about it enough. Blu-Ray movies are just amazing. I literally get Vertigo sitting in front of some of them, the clarity is that strong. HD Content from my cable box is VERY good. - I watched The Masters golf tournament over the weekend, and with the stereo sound, I felt like I was standing on the fairway with Tiger Woods!!! - I'm still not 100% on the 3D yet; although I haven't technically watched a 3D movie - only converted from 2D to 3D on some movies and content - which is pretty darn good, all things considered.
I am also impressed with the "connectivity" of the Samsung LED TV. I have a LAN in my house, and all of my computers recognize the TV when it is on. I can stream content such as AVI, WAV, MPeg movies to it very easily. My kids love that feature.
Anyway, I thought I would circle back and close the loop on my HD TV Journey. I am VERY happy with my decisions - and suggest everyone go through an "In-Store" test with their models that they are considering purchasing.