Great post OP!
Here's what I know:
LCD and LED panels generally do not have a break in period like Plasmas do. You can keep them nice and bright from day 1.
However, constantly running them on a high back light setting will of course cause the overall illumination of the screen to degrade a little faster than it should. Ideally, keep the back light between 2 and 4, out of 10 levels. Adjust your contrast and brightness accordingly, along with room lighting.
Now, here's what I didn't know almost for a year when I purchased my LCD screen back in 2008:
Letting it run for at least 45 mins or more warms up the colors real nicely, and you actually experience better picture quality and motion resolution. So... cheers! Wish I had joined this forum back then!