I've read a lot of thoughts here and elsewhere, including most of this thread, and I'm still torn and looking for advice. For the last several years, I've had a 34" 720p Sony CRT HDTV. That's right, a tube - that weights a ton. I've been very happy with it - no "native" resolution to worry about, no viewing angle issues, and so on - but it's recently died.
So of course I want to buy a new set to replace it.
Based on what I've seen (looking at various sets in stores), I definitely want to go with plasma, not LCD. (If you think I should go LCD...why?) And, unfortunately, the largest TV I will be able to fit in the space is a 46" model (okay maybe 50" if I'm lucky). Still a big step up from 34", especially for a living room (and not a "home theater".)
We mostly watch network television and sports, but we also play PS3 and Wii, watch Netflix Hulu and movies from my HTPC, and we watch some BluRay movies as well.
I typically sit about 11' from the TV, though there are some seats as close as 8'. (Unfortunately, I can't really change this either, and yes, I know that it's not the "optimal" distance for that size screen.)
So (and you knew this was coming, didn't you?), should I go with 720/768p or 1080p?
Here's why I'd go with a 1080p:
a) The BluRay movies and some of the PS3 games
b) Future-proofing (i.e. assuming more 1080p content will emerge over the hopefully long life of the TV)
c) A suspicion that the 1080p models are of higher quality (in general) than the 720p models (for example, Panasonic has the 2-pane "Infinite Black" THX-certified screens in 1080p but not in 720p)
d) Honestly, though I can't afford the "best" that's out there, I want to get the best I can within my budget - unless it's truly a complete waste of money.
e) Most of the "720p" sets I've looked at are actually 768p, meaning any signal coming into the TV would get scaled (right?)
Here's why I'd go with a 720p:
a) Did I mention I was sitting 8-11' away?
b) I watch a lot of sports and other action stuff, and I want the motion to be as good as possible
c) I'm concerned that upscaling 720p signals on a 1080p set wouldn't look as good as downscaling 1080p or 1080i signals on a 720p set
d) It doesn't cost as much as a 1080p set
I humbly beg you for any suggestions...
Edited: PS - I don't care about 3D.