I'm sure these threads pop up on here all the time, so I apologize if this is redundant - I don't spend a lot of time on these forums anymore so I'm not sure what's been discussed and what hasn't.
I recently picked up a Samsung UN60ES7150 from Costco to replace an older 50" Panasonic plasma for my family room. I'm not in love with the set for a few reasons. Firstly, picture quality isn't what I was hoping for - blacks aren't uniform across the screen and there's a fairly distracting artifact that I can only describe as "hazing" (a general cloudiness on mid- to dark scenes), though there may be a better term for it. Also, there are brighter strips down each side of the picture right where the screen meets the frame that are distracting.
Secondly, The 60" size isn't giving me the pop I was hoping for. Stepping up from a 50" set I expected to have a more immersive experience, but I honestly can't tell that the screen is any bigger. This may be an optical illusion due to the fact that the set, while having a 10" larger screen surface, is physically smaller in overall dimension than the plasma it replaces.
These factors have me ready to return the set. Can anyone suggest a set that would perform better than this one and is a bit larger (say in the 65" to 70" range)? Costco carries the 70" Sharp Quattron LC-70C8470 that I was thinking of trying next, though I don't know much about Sharp as a brand. I'm not locked in to buying from this retailer, but I do like their generous return policy. Obviously, set quality trumps this, so I can go anywhere. As for budget, I'd be comfortable with something $3500 or less. I don't watch sports, but will be gaming and watching HD cable and Blu-rays with this set. I have a projector (JVC RS1) with a 110" screen in my basement theater, so this doesn't need to be the ultimate last word in accuracy, but I obviously want something of high quality. Given these parameters, what would people suggest?