The Sony KD-36XS955 seems to get quite a bit of praise as well, and is a Super Fine Pitch (what does this mean?) model as well.
I have that tv as well as what others consider the pinnacle of crt tvs - the xbr960n 34" 16:9
Although the latter is 1" larger in 16:9 mode (34 vs 33 inches) imo the KD-36XS955 is superior
For many reasons. The linearity in the corners is much better on the 36 inch set, whereas convergence and linearity causes problems in the corners of the 960 - the 36 inch set has none of these problems as it is just shrinking the 1080i lines into a 16:9 letter box (and retaining all info). The zoom is great for HD when you don't care about cutting off edges - but not sure how this will help for your application; for real 4:3 without zoom and overscan you need to feed it 480p or 480i
The SFP means horizontal resolution of around 1400 or so of the HD signals provided 1980 - so you can see all the resolution considering the size of the display and your viewing distance (most crt HDTVs have horizontal resolution around 850-900)
Another place this set shines is for memory stick watching of photos - the resoluton carries through here (photos are 4:3 and look great), as well as output from Digital camcorders) and it is outstanding
The 960 xbr does have some important features missing in the 36kd - including firewire support (which is great for me for archiving HD files with my d-vhs deck.
They both have cable card featuer - so I can save $5 a month and still see all my subscribed content (and record all copy once to the d-vhs on the 960 via firewire)
Both also have HDMI which is an important feature
The KD-36XS955 can be hard to find - but the ones I have seen occasionally locally have not gone for much on CL