About a month ago, I purchased a new 54VT25. It exceeds my expectations. Hi-Def is awesome. Standard-def is surprisingly good! I'm very happy with it. And although others here have pointed out problems with it, I have yet to see any problems. No image retention. No black lines suddenly appearing. No color gradients. No floating blacks. No rising black levels. No buzzing. Etc. I'm sure some of these problems do exist and are inherent in this TV, but good luck trying to find them without getting out your magnifying glass. At least that's my impression.
I did do the break-in slides for 100 hours first. I actually have yet to calibrate it to D-Nice's settings. It looks pretty darn good in THX mode right out of the box. I probably won't hire a professional to calibrate it, but I will use the various bluray calibration discs and maybe see if D-Nice's settings are worth using.
Buzzing: I hear a very slight amount especially when the screen turns white. But it's negligible. You only hear it if your sound is muted. And barely at that. Not something I would complain about.
About the only issue I've had is getting DLNA from my Synology NAS to work with the TV or Panasonic BDT-300 bluray player. But I think I'll just get a PS3 or something for that anyway. So no big deal.
I've been an avsforum lurker for several years now. I started looking for a big-screen TV probably 8-10 years ago. Until now, I've had a 20 inch CRT, believe it or not.
My problem was always that there was some uber-bad thing with whatever new technology was coming out. I see the rainbows in DLP sets, even the latest ones. Drives me crazy seeing those. I hated the screen door effect in the early LCD rear projection TV's. The new flat-panel LCD TV's don't have that problem, but they have other annoying problems (motion blur, unrealistic colors, off-angle viewing, etc.). The LCOS rear projection TV's from JVC (DILA) had potential a while back, and I was ready to buy one when I realized that its color reproduction wasn't very good, and its bulb life was sub-optimal. So I waited a bit on that, and they canceled the line. Oh well. Other TV's had fan noise. Or motion artifacts. Or poor black detail, contrast, or brightness. Poor standard-def. Oh hey, remember when many TV's only went up to a max of 1080i in their inputs, yet advertised they could do 1080p? Sharp Aquos LCD's actually had "banding" in about 50% of their panels due to shoddy manufacturing processes for a while (and they may still have that, I dunno). I even considered front-projection for a while, but regular bulb life sucked, and I was waiting for LED bulb technology to mature (still hasn't). OLED never materialized and may take another 10 years before you can buy a big-screen OLED at a reasonable price. SED's are dead as far as I can tell, but they had me really hoping for a good year or so there. The first gen rear-projection Laser TV's are cost prohibitive and have "sparkles", whatever the heck they are. Not to mention the possibility of your eyes being damaged by laser TV? Yikes.
I read all the reviews and forums, and up until now I just haven't seen a TV set that was worth buying. They all had problems. Plasma always seemed too dim and had that screen door effect that rear-projection LCD's did initially. I just totally passed them up ever since they first came out. I couldn't understand why anyone would buy one. They not only had those problems but also: image burn-in and retention, poor panel life, and were pressurized so that you couldn't take them anywhere high. Beyond that, they were heavy behemoths that weighed a ton and required a nuclear reactor for its power. I just scratched my head when I saw plasmas.
Well, since then plasmas got better in all those areas, but the remaining problem was the insane power use. Panasonic resolved that last issue in their latest VT line of plasmas. So, I bought one. Finally. After 8-10 years of looking. Hehe. And it's awesome!
Anyway, thanks to Chris at Cleveland Plasma who took my order over the phone. I didn't know what to expect and would never normally order something like this over the phone and have them ship it all that way. But the TV arrived quickly and undamaged. He convinced me that if anything was wrong with the set, I wouldn't be stuck trying to pay to ship it back or whatnot. I took the risk, and it paid off. I would definitely buy from him again.