Not exactly on the Plasma<-->LCD discussion, but something I've been pondering for the last few weeks does seem relevant to the title topic.
It seems to me that most
of the technologies that are needed to bring LCD displays to a level of true excellence now (or soon will) exist, but nobody has put them all together in the same display and/or executes reliably enough in the manufacturing process that I'd be able to buy a "high end" set today and feel confident that I'd still be satisfied with it in 5 years.
6ms or faster panels
Local dimming LED backlighting
120hz or other motion smoothing/compensating tech
Thin frame displays
Lots of input/output options and multiple user adjustable viewing presets
Plenty of sets offer some of these features to some degree or other, but nobody's put it all together in a package that just works
What we get instead is sets missing key features, or poor implementation of some of them, or sets that look fantastic on paper, but fall short on manufacturing, leaving us with fun stuff like:
Color push issues
HDMI handshaking issues
Ineffective motion smoothing
etc... etc... etc...
I'm pretty sure that at least several of the major brands will work these issues out over the next few years, but between the flaws in the current models and the general "computer-itis" of flat panels that remain with us, I'm feeling less and less like sinking considerable bucks into replacing my "disposable" two year old Sceptre with a big brand set, knowing
that I'll want to replace it again come fall '09 or '10. It may be pretty feeble by today's standards, but I do think I've gotten a good value for what I spent, even moreso if it will last another year or two before dying.
Sharp, fix your banding.
Toshiba, fix your green push.
Sony, fix your clouding (props for doing better this Gen.)
Samsung, build a matte version of your 71 series.
Mitsubishi, a 1:1 pixel mapping mode is required, not optional on a high end LCD these days.
Mitsu/Sony/Samsung: might want to reconsider those prices on your top end sets a bit.
/me orders a wake up call for CES 2010