Note: I originally posted this review in the BB review section for the TV, however, it has yet to appear there. I can only conclude that it was 'filtered out' for some reason. Which, in my opinion, makes those store-specific review sections worthless.
I bought this TV about 1 week ago from my local Best Buy dealer. I looked around town, and due to this product being 'new' no one else had any in stock. I spent about 2 weeks going to all the local stores trying to compare pictures, decide over LCD vs. Plasma, etc. One local Best Buy salesman was quite positive that in a couple years, Plasma's would be gone like the dinosaurs and LCD's would reign supreme. So for a day or two, I had it in my head that I needed to buy LCD (which for a 1080p, 120hz, are more expensive, much more...) But then I came to the realization that it didn't make a difference what was being produced in 2-3 years, I was buying today. (And I have serious doubts that Plasma's will be gone in 2-3 years.) This TV was rated at 100k hours - which would make me an old man by the time I needed to replace it.
The leap of faith for me came because I never actually saw this TV on display anywhere. As mentioned, most stores didn't have it, and the 1 or 2 that did weren't putting it on display until older models moved. After viewing every TV size, brand and model I could find and after my 100th visit to a local shop, I concluded that there was no way I would be able to reasonably say one manufacturer/brand, LCD vs. Plasma was better then another. It depends way too much on too many uncontrollable factors.
I decided to buy this new Samsung 50" based on price point. Not only was it part of Samsung's 'new' line, it was priced to move. And priced well! (not to mention that I got it as part of a package deal, right around the $2000 mark) Given the '30-day' return policy I decided that I'd take it home, set it up where I'd be watching TV and see for myself. One interesting point about this TV is that the salesman told me it only had the 'standard' picture controls such as: Tint, Color, Brightness, Contrast, etc. The 'advanced' settings could only be 'tweaked' by the Best Buy team using a '10k' machine (at a cost of $300 bucks - yea right!) Luckily, this is not correct. I'm not sure if this is typical of other models, but this 'new' line of Samsung's allows advanced settings: gamma, black levels, all sorts of stuff that I'm not comfortable messing with in fear of severely messing up the picture. (Of course you can always go back to factory settings.)
After getting my new Samsung home, which was quite large and required two people to remove it from the box and setup, I was quite happy compared to messing with some of the 32-inch tubes I still have. OMG, so much easier! And it looked the part too, sleek, black, with it's own swivel base. Yes, this is a nice looking TV.
I also picked up a Playstation III for Blu-Ray and I have plenty of HD satellite channels, and I have to say I can't wait every night to settle in and watch this new TV. The picture is absolutely amazing! Crystal clear and super bright! I have a fairly dark room (shutters), but plenty of light still seeps in the daytime, and there is absolutely no issue with glare, etc. This is quite an amazing TV. The only thing I could possibly say in the negative is that I spend a lot of time trying to tweak the 'skin-tone' settings. Perhaps it's just that I finally have a TV capable of displaying the horrid fake tan's of our nationwide and local newscasters, but some are so absurd I don't believe they could possibly be true, so I play around with different color settings tying to find the most natural look. I'm pretty sure the problem isn't the TV because movies and other channels look fine. (Maybe I need that $300 setup... I think I'll pass...)
All in all I think this TV is about the best bang you can get for your buck (April '08), and assuming you don't pick up a manufacturing lemon, I'm sure you'll be quite pleased with it too. (I only say this because there's always a horror story or two out there because someone picked one up with a defect. It happens. I've owned a couple Samsung computer monitors and now this TV, and I've had good luck with them to date.)