Just wanted to jump in on this thread.
I have been reading, (well not all 300 plus pages mind you) and also spending this week doing ALOT of research since I read about Panasonic discontinuing plasma production.
Guess you could call use "old school" as we are still CRT folks.
We are seriously considering purchasing the 50" version of this set this weekend. This would be our first plasma. We have a Sony KD-34XBR970 34" HDTV (CRT) that we love and it's OTA HD reception was fantastic until Comcast ended that.
We have said for years that if something happened to this set we would replace it with a plasma as I have always read that plasma has the closest PQ to CRT (black levels etc)
We had no plans to buy a tv until needed, until we found out about the demise of Panasonic plasmas.
Now many will no doubt think it is crazy but we have no intention of getting rid of the Sony, it is 200 lbs of nice PQ and it will continue to be our main set for regular tv viewing. Our plan is to use the plasma for dvds and blu-rays. I also have Amazon Prime.
The Sony is now 7 years old, I know someday it will need repair and I have a hunch parts will be hard to get if not impossible. Of course the demise of Panasonics plasmas couldn't come at a worse time, property tax bills will be in the mail this month. However it looks like this will be the only opportunity to get a tv of this quality. It's a gamble, the Sony may go 1 year, 2 years or crap out next week. I would hate to lose it and find our only replacement choice an LED.