Been a while since I've popped in here. Still using my 5020.
I just today helped a friend purchase a new TV and spent a good four hours in a couple AV shops with my test equipment running through the latest models. I had always suspected that the Pioneer was still a match for the best on the market, but I was surprised to learn that it is actually quite superior.
The plasmas were incredibly disappointing to me. All of the plasmas I tested exhibited image noise and motion issues that simply are not present on the Pioneer. The LG and Samsung plasmas were just shameful in comparison while the Panasonic continues to exhibit problems present in all Panasonic plasmas since 2006! I was really expecting the top end Panasonic 3D plasmas to have eliminated the "dancing pixels" issue used to form gradients, but it still remains. All of the plasmas exhibited noise when motion began (as if the color depth decreases when the picture begins to move).
LCDs have improved dramatically since I've last tested, but still seem to suffer from a lot of issues. So many of the LCDs out there work so hard to hide the fact that the black levels are still poor. A lot of dynamic features are enabled by default that attempt to regulate the brightness based on how bright the image is to give the impression of a richer black level. Disabling all of this revealed that they just can't pull of a truly rich black. Even the high density LED grids with local dimming couldn't really delivering what I had expected. Disappointing indeed. Furthermore, LCDs still can't seem to handle non-native resolutions as well. Along with all of the HD tests I ran, I also brought along a 240p source. I know, it seems silly to expect a modern HDTV to handle 240p content, but it's still revealing. Out of every single display I tested, only the Panasonic plasmas and the Mitsubishi DLP sets actually managed to render an appealing image. The majority of displays (especially) LCDs mangled the image and framerate. Some of the displays actually delivered 240p content with the appearance of less than the 60 fps they really offer. Terrible de-interlacing.
So, yes, it was an interesting trip indeed. It also has me concerned about what I might do should my Pioneer fail me. All of the current displays seem to focus on a slimmer profile, energy efficiency, and 3D. Picture quality has not seen a significant jump since 2008 on the plasma front and LCDs, while improved, still have a ways to go. Just my opinion, of course, but I really was anticipating some real winners and came away disappointed.