I can say that my girlfriend has been very patient and understanding with me through the last year of tv headaches. Up until last year we had a cheap CRT tv, and neither of us ever had an issue with it. No fluctuations, no pops, no blotches, flashlighting, clouding, lines, etc. - just a solid picture. DVDs looked fantastic. I had a blu-ray rom drive and watched blu-rays on my 1680x1050 monitor now and then. Being a big 3D fan I dreamed of the day of owning a nice 3D HDTV, but knew it would involve tough decisions and probable headaches, and lots of money we don't really have, so we were both fine with what we had.
When the CRT died suddenly last year, we were in a situation where we didn't want to buy a heavy, used CRT to carry up 3 flights of stairs, and I managed to convince my girlfriend it would be best for us to splurge for once and get a great tv. So we did. We bought an LCD, and we were both immediately disappointed by the inconsistent panel and flashlighting, not to mention the bizarre motion (either had terrible stutter on many HD channels or enable frame interpolation and suffer the shock of soap opera effect, which we both instantly hated). After 3 more LCDs, we rethought things and decided maybe plasma would fit us better and deliver a picture closer to what we were hoping for. So we bought a plasma, and spent more on it than my girlfriend ever imagined spending on a tv. And for months and months, the tv caused us grief.
My girlfriend didn't have any particular problem with the plasma, though she was rather indifferent towards the HD quality in general. It just wasn't something she was into one way or the other. But the fluctuating brightness was driving me mad, which in turn was driving my girlfriend mad, since I spent hours on end talking with Samsung to get things straightened out. We couldn't enjoy the set because I was constantly being reminded by the picture flaws that I was unhappy with the set.
So when the new sets came out this year, I convinced my girlfriend that it was for the best if we traded in the set and cut our losses with it and get a new 2012 model and not worry anymore about it. So we went for the ST50 and after 3 weeks it was clear the 3D was not up to the quality of the previous set we had traded in. We upgraded to the E8000 and that's what we now own, and we have absolutely no desire at this point to make any more changes. Whatever we get with the E8000 we get. Thankfully it does seem like a nice, nice set so far, without the headaches of last year's model.
I know, that was a long story. But that's my point - imagine how my girlfriend must feel through all this. She couldn't care less one way or the other about picture quality, unless it's complete crap (like the LCDs we tried). So she was being extremely tolerant of all the frustrations/stress/returns/internet research/phone calls, etc. during this whole thing. So basically we spent a ton of money on a set that drove us nuts for close to a year, and have only now settled in with a tv I think we can be happy with.
That's the problem with current tv technology, and I think that's why we tend to get heckled/nagged by our significant others regarding our purchases - these products are expensive, and often end up causing some level of frustration, and I think spouses often just don't see what the benefit is. We could have gone to a second-hand store or Craigs List for $50-$100 and picked up a nice Sony Wega, and my girlfriend would have been fine with it for years to come. But I wanted to take the opportunity to step into the world of 3D and HDTV, and what we got were headaches and frustration. I think ultimately we will be able to really enjoy this new plasma set, since hopefully I won't be spending every other night on the phone with Samsung. But from my own experience, it's no wonder we get hassled for our obsession with these tvs - heck, I'm sick of it all myself by now, I can't imagine how weary my girlfriend feels about it.