Here is my story. Earlier this year I purchased a Panasonic TH-42PZ77U. I ended up returning it because the TV had 2 dark bands that were visible on uniform backgrounds (soccer, hockey). I could also see very strong green phosphor trail effect when playing COD4 and Burnout on my PS3. Unfortunately, it seems that I am one of those individuals that can see these trails. I also used to have a Samsung DLP, and I could clearly see rainbows on that TV. I am sure with time I could get used to this, but I returned the set because of aforementioned dark bands that were visible permanently. Keep in mind that I used this set for only 4-5 days, so the phosphors did not have time to age properly.
I ended up purchasing a Toshiba 42RV530U, since I did not feel like lugging that 42kg monstrosity pz77u back and forth (I know that is not a great reason). I am relatively satisfied with rv530. However, I still miss the way plasma handles motion. LCD technology is still way behind when it comes to motion. Plasma also looks much more organic and natural, without giving everything that artificial and arguably fake look that LCD's tend to have.
The point is that I am thinking about giving away my RV530 to my parents and going out and trying my luck with plasma technology again. Every time I go to a store which has plasmas on display, I get blown away by how superior they look to their LCD counterparts, once you get past the insane brightness that LCD's produce in a store environment.
This is where it gets interesting - while comparing various plasmas today in a store, I am pretty sure that the 720p sets seemed to have significantly lesser amount of phospor lag than their 1080p counterparts. Keep in mind, the plasma that I returned earlier this year was a 1080p set. Could it be that 720p plasma panels are better optimized since they have been around longer? I know that it is very difficult to be objective under horrible lighting conditions that most stores have, but that's what it looked like to me.
Anyway, I am planning to pick up a Panasonic 720p 42-inch plasma tomorrow (the Costco model), and give it another try. I really don't care about 1080p, since blu-ray watching makes up about 15% of my TV-watching experience. Most of my content is 720p or 1080i. Plus, the 720p sets use way less energy and run much cooler. I will post back the results for any of my fellow "I can see rainbow-like effect" people
Excited to be back in the plasma camp...