Paid $499 out the door. Got 3 yr extended warranty for $29.85 additional. 12 months no interest to pay for it. Setting it up this weekend. Not 3D but if I calibrate it right, there is depth to the picture due to the gray scale shading and billions of colors possible and that is enough for me. Don't care for 3D glasses....I have my own to wear. That's why the Panasonic Plasma: color, gray scale and uniformity. Very optimistic from what I've read on AVS Forum. Lots of good results. Careful side by side comparison of graphs on CNET shows that the uncalibrated U50 is very close to the calibrated 55VT and the compared details of various performance measurements were pretty much a wash. If you weren't told which was the VT and which was the U, it would have been hard to tell from the details. Not perfect, but indicates that this TV can produce a fine picture. Have room darkening venetian blinds installed already. CNET rated U50 EXCELLENT with 4 stars and 5 stars from users. Pioneer receiver comes next and then inputs are "No Problemo". $499 made it a no brain er and I have a Roku with Wi-Fi for the "Smart TV' stuff and a 4-core/8GB/750GB laptop with dedicated video card and an HDMI out to use as a HT Computer. Just need to be careful with varied material displayed in motion for the first 2-3 weeks.
I got mine at Costco located in my area. I was very lucky since I was waiting to get the tv at the lower price possible. I visited Costco the day after the black friday and boom!, $499.00 in my face. My wife told me: Ok what are you waiting for?. At this price, It would be a sin not purchasing. The tv is excellent, great picture, great interface. I would browse the forum for best settings.