I pulled the trigger today and picked up the TCP55VT50. I went to one of the many BB stores here in the Bay Area and had to go to the Magnolia section inside the store. I had been checking stock availability for about a week, and this location was the only one in about a 30 mile radius that actually had the set at the store and not at the region distribution center.
They have had the price at $2,199 for a while now, which matches Amazon's price, but of course the local sales tax drives it up higher so I was set on getting a better price in order to pull the trigger. I asked the person who was helping me if they would match authorized Internet dealer prices, and he said they probably would if the dealer is listed on the Panasonic approved dealer list. I told him Cleveland Plasma has the set for $1,900 right now plus $100 for shipping and asked him to match the price. He looked up the list, and since Cleveland was not on the list he said they would not match it. I told him unless you give me 4 pairs of the Panasonic 3D glasses (BB price of $80/pair) I was going elsewhere. I said work me up a price and I'll let you know if you are in the ballpark.
Well wouldn't you know when all was said and done he marked the TV down to $1,999.99, and with the 4 pair of glasses my price was about $2450 including CA tax out the door. Overall he took about $300 off so I was pretty happy. Since I had a boat load of Reward Zone points to burn and also a BB gift card my total out of pocket was even lower so it's a win-win.
I'm hoping to get it out of the box and on the wall on Friday to replace my 5 year old TH-50PX60U, which of course has nothing wrong with it. The appeal of 3D, Internet features, a much thinner footprint, and 5 more inches was too much to pass up.
I gave the Samsung 7150 60 inch LED a shot last week, and while very slick looking it just doesn't compare to the Panasonic plasma picture.