Best bang for your buck has to goto the Panasonic 50u50. It "only" has 2 HDMI inputs, but most folks that have a home theater setup won't have an issue with this, or for a bedroom can get by with 2. I just purchased and installed one a couple weeks ago for my aunt (finally replaced a 32" CRT), and I was VERY impressed with the TV for the $. Honestly, you can't beat it. I have a several yr old panasonic 54s1 and got a 60st50 this year, and pq wise it seems VERY comparable to the more expensive panasonic st50 line. The u50 doesn't have some little features like internet enabled and 3D, but I've never used either.. I was so impressed with the TV for the $ I just purchased one for my mother for christmas to replace her 40" samsung lcd that's 7+ yrs old.
PQ wise plasma is king, no question. Only reason to buy an lcd is if you want a smaller size. Sure plasma uses a little more electricity, but for a few more $/month for electricity, the better PQ is well worth it.