I looking to buy a new Plasma TV within the next week or so, and am kind of overwhelmed with choices and am looking for guidance.
My price range for the TV is around $1,500 with a size of around 50-52 inches. The TV is going to be pretty much only for TV and movies.
By TV do you mean HD programming or regular basic cable stuff? And by movies, do you mean regular DVDs or HBO/Showtime HD movies or Blu-Ray? How many feet will there be between your eyeballs and the screen? Will there be a lot of light in the room while watching? Will you be buying online or limited to buying at a local store? Are you looking for great picture quality, or are you not all that picky about PQ?
If you're not looking for the absolute best picture quality, you can get a lower-end Panasonic 50" X24 series from Costco for less than half of your budget. Samsung and LG also have some decent lower end 50" models in the same general price range.
Or, you can get the excellent and highly-rated Panasonic TC-P50G25 from Amazon for under a thousand bucks, or the larger 54" version for a few hundred under your budget (nobody makes a 52" plasma BTW). The G25 is Panasonic's best non-3D model.
Watch out for the increasing black levels in the Pannys. They said that they have addressed these problems for the 2010 models and in so doing they opened a new can of worms with the floating blacks. Also, TweakTV just released a report that Panny is still having trouble with the blacks.
Might as well go with the Samsungs since they do not have this problem. In fact, Samsung only lost one major category against Panasonic which is the black but that's not an advantage for Panny anymore with their problems. The buzzing for Sammys may be a concern but those are isolated cases. Here's the shootout: