Originally Posted by Steve S
unfortunately you can't get the brightest screen without sacrificing viewing angles. An LED lit lcd will be the brightest, with some sacrifice in off/angle viewing, while a plasma will have absolutely no off/angle problems with some sacrifice in maximum brightness.
I'd take a trip to a brightly lit tv showroom and take a look--you'll notice that the plasmas are a little dimmer, but ask yourself if they are in fact too dim in and of themselves and not just in comparison to the leds. You can also get an idea of which of the uber-bright leds have the best off-angle performance.
As for good speakers, no flat panel on the market is going to have what I'd consider good sound so just budget for a sound bar or other audio solution.
Steve, reason that the plasmas appear dim, is due to everyone dicking with the settings, or the store setting them for what they think is the best option. I have ours set to the best quality, and whether watching sports, movies on the Blu-ray, or tv on our U-Verse, the picture is better than it was out of the box, set at the default for the manufacturer.
When I worked for Sears about 10 years ago, we had no problems letting customers play with the settings on the tv. After they were done, we would set them back to a calibrated level for that set.
People are doing the same now, as they have been doing for years, when tube sets were all the rage. They are going for what fits their pocketbook, rarely will they purchase a higher end set, unless they have either schooled themselves, or have a person doing the selling that steers them to the best set for what they are looking for.