Went to Best Buy last night after work to check out the 42S2 as it was one of the top models on my list. It was noticeably dimmer than the LCDs in torch-mode around it, but it had the best color and contrast--the LCDs were way too high, you could tell.
I wasn't able to mess with it and I didn't ask for a remote, but what I saw was nice enough. It was easy to pick out each time I walked by the wall of displays, as it was the dimmest one in a sea of LCDs.
I figured, YUP, I'm going to get this tv and the BR combo deal. Came home, log into this thread and other places on AVS and I wound up staying up late looking at threads and thinking I might have to pass. The only reason I didn't buy it right there in the store was because I wanted to do the Bing Cashback and then pick-up in store. And I had my car instead of the SUV, so it would have made bringing it home impossible.
What worries me from this thread is the following:
-I'm going to be gaming on this exclusively over HDMI. That's pretty much it. The comments that it's grainy have me worried, and people have discussed 360 issues. I wanted plasma over LCD this time for better hz and colors/blacks. But this picture issue has me worried. I understand Cinema mode makes it better, but I don't know.
-The set was dim and had a great AR coating. Better than my glossy-screen Samsung LNT4665f (which I think looks like a plasm--with the clear panel it's so beautiful). But I'll be playing this in the living room, pretty much between two windows. Most sun is in the afternoon, as we live in a cape surrounded by trees and the living room tends to be on the darker side most of the day. I'm still worried that with minimal sun in the room it might be too dim for me. I am a multi-LCD owner and have never owned a plasma or seen a game running on one, especially in a semi-bright area.
-No VGA port irritates me as my PC doesn't have HDMI/DVI (it's from 2003 and not a gaming PC) and having optical out only means I'll have to get new headphones. I don't want to buy a HT or receiver or anything just to use standard headphones, and headphones are a necessity as this is a secondary tv in a family living room.
So I'm a bit scared now and I might just hold off. It's too bad as Best Buy has the 36-months-no-interest thing right now. I could get the tv, take it back if I hate it, but I wouldn't be able to get another television for that promo if I took it back a couple weeks later. Promo ends tomorrow.