So not only did I not return the TV, I almost got a second one to replace the other TV. The bottom line is that I have successfully made the transition from plasma in my mind. Yesterday, I sat in the other sams in my area just comparing the 55" Vizio with a panisonic, LG, and Samsung - and a the UT series panasonic plasma. To my amazement, it was the Panisonic plasma that looked tweaked down at this Sams. They did not have the LG 60" even available at this store. So I am certain something is going on with these plasma sets in these stores. They may even be tweaking down the signal they are receiving. I actually went to this sams with the intentions of overriding all research to date and buying a 60" Samsung plasma that is currently 998.00 and listed around 1300 till you get it in your cart. However, they had only two left and none of display. So i was not going to risk getting this home to find a DIM picuture. There is no question the was PLASMAs are perputrated on society today - they want us to think they are dog****. But I got hung up in the FEATURE LIST again. This Sams had some killer LCDs set up that caught my attention. FIrst, I have no doubt that Samsung is still making top of the line here. They had a 60" Samsung going for about 1600 that blew my mind. But they cheated it with a solid blue ray output, so I passed given the price. I started talking with the store rep who was very knowledgible, and got back on the LCD crush. I started comparing some 55" LED LCDs and got lost again. I actually almost bought the MK vizio again for a second one in my house. At the end of my side by side review, I just could not tell a bit of difference in the 55" Vizio, Panasonic, and LG LEDs. I thought that perhaps the LG had the best pic (slightly), and I noted that I could not seem to get the blues to match the panasonic and LG. So I got in this price battle in my mind about the panasoic for 1200, or another Vizio for 1200, but with all the features. Finally I just kicked down to an LG 47" for 698 and this seems to be the price break point these days. Plus I could def use this one as a computer monitor one day. 100 bucks more would have got the Vizio 47" with the 3d and all, but i was not after that for the rear TV and it was down to $$$ now, and sleeping good at night. So the 47" is only 3" less than the Panasonic Plasma I am replacing in the bedroom, which I had already made note in my mind that it may have been a shade too big at points in the past. Amazingly, the 39" Sanyo LCD i had purchased in an attempt to stave off the final purchase taught me that it was not just the size of the 39" that rendered the set disappointing, but the picture. What provoked my return of the 39" was standing up close to it the other day and seeing snow all over the TV - thus realizing it wont even make a good office/somputer monitor. But there was something about it that made it difficult to see clearly, and more than size related.
So in my final review...:
1) I am sold on the LCD
2) I am convinced Plasma will gobble just about all the electricity it ever did, once the picture is turned back up off energy star qualified ratings.
3) Good LCD does NOT have the issues I was worried about (unintentional 3d look, poor picture, etc)
4) The LED aspect is adding more than cost effective back lighting, and long life but a slightly better picture. And you can never complain about slim design. Smaller IS better.
5) I do suspect there may be some color issues with the less expensive LCDs, but not an issue if spending the $$...
6) if not for price I would have got another 55" 3D LED LCD Vizio, but I steered away for prive break at 47" thus affording a future option to upgrade without vomit. SO i opted to save the 500 bucks on the replacement of the master bedroom TV.
7) MAKE NO MISTAKE. You will not find the features on the Vizio 55" LED for this price in any other. The LGs were the closest I thing at 300 bucks more. I doubt there is a real screen difference once the Vizio is tweaked.
8) The LG LED is rated at something like 12 watts which satisfies my need for a "passive screen" in the bedroom that puts out almost ZERO HEAT in comparison to plasma.
9) Finally I did not realize how solid a group LG is in televsion technology.
7) HANDS Down, LG does something with their HUMAN INTERFACE that is kinda hard to explain. In short - its like the know that they are doing LOL. The way the TV features interact with you is a different experience. The menus, the settings, its just like they actually gave concern to the human aspect too.
I have the LG 47" LED LCD as my choice in the bedroom, and I have zero complaints, in fact, I LIKE watching this TV.!! Thats all there is to be said. The TV is weak on "Smart features", but as one poster mentioned - who needs to be bottlenecked with built-in firmware that will be out dated, and when you can add external devices. The TV offers somekind of movie play option through USB that I have not investigated and it may be DIVX based, whatever. They DID put a cat 5 jack on the back to get it online in your network. Still I dont know if I will ever use any of this, although I would like to get my movie collection which I have ripped available through my network one day. Thats about all I care about as far as extras for now. I am not into any further cost than my sat or cable service... This LG picture is as good as plasma in my opinion, or as far as my eyes care. And its EASY on them....