I can never remember the stupid model numbering Pioneer USA used. If that's a first generation Kuro (Pioneer 8G) you may be happy with a Panasonic VT50. If it's a second generation Kuro (Pioneer 9G) you will be disappointed with the black levels on the Panasonic.
The only Sony that is remotely comparable are the HX9 series LCDs. (latest is HX950) Viewing angle, as with all LCDs, is terrible in the dark (acceptable in a bright room at medium angles) but black levels and contrast will be better and it should otherwise outperform the Panasonic. Probably costs a lot more too.
If you really like the Kuro, it may be worth repairing it, but that's only the first thing that has gone wrong, it can only go downhill from here.
If you are happy to spend an extremely high amount of money on first-generation technology, Samsung and LG claim they will have OLED panels out by the end of the year.