Thanks for your opinion.Seems from most people around the net Pioneer & Panasonic are the 2 best. Just don't trust salespeople in electronics stores to give an unbiased opinion.
I talked to a guy at Best Buy today. He was the most well informed sales person I've ever encountered in retail. Surely not a product of Best Buy training.
Plasma is one of the best for sports, it's bright, has huge off axis viewing capabilities, and doesn't suffer motion blur. Samsung, Pioneer, and Panasonic are 3 good companies that spring to mind. Plasmas do, however, lack the punch of an LCD or a DLP tv, so if that's really important to you I would suggest a DLP RPTV, they are very bright and don't suffer from the motion blur of LCDs.