Briz600, I was really in the same position as you when looking for plasma's & I was all set to go with the Samsung 64 because it has great features on it compared to the other brands but after reading all the problems with the Samsung's here I decided to go for a 42" Panasonic & after looking around for awhile I discovered that on March 24th Costco will be selling the 2007 42" Panasonic TH-42PZ700U for $1,099.99 which Best Buy, Circuit City & Sears originally sold for $1,999.99 so that's the model I'm going with.
My thinking was a Top-Of-The-Line Model vs an 2008 Entry Level Model but if you have a really bright room than I would go for the new Panny PZ80.
The Panny at Costco also comes with a 2 Year Warranty compared to Panny's 1 Year Warranty plus Costco has a no questions 90 day return policy so you just might want to check out that Panny TH-PZ700U at Costco.
The new Panasonic PZ800 that's replacing the PZ700 won't be in for awhile & the 42" one will be selling for around $1,800 to $1,900
If you want the specs, pictures & etc on the Panasonic TH-42PZ700U go to www.crutchfield.com
& enter the model number in the "Search Box" & it will come up.