I think everyone has set prices for everything. For me it's about $1200 for a TV set. So for me it's the LG PA6500 vs. the Pani 55UT50 which is going on sale for about $1200, the same $1200 that I was considering paying for the LG PA6500 a month ago. I auditioned both at Fry Electronics, watching "The Robinsons" cartoon movie. The Panasonic definitely had better highlights, easily seen when the son flies through the tunnels at the lake.
It has been asked, Is the Panasonic worth the money"? As a technician I can say that if they have superior capacitors then the answer is "Yes". I have replaced so many pop-corning capacitors on computer motherboards, power supplies and CRT monitors that it isn't funny. (Out of over 200 HP 17" CRT monitors that I had to fix only one was replaced under warranty. Total cost to fix? About $2 for a pair of high temp quality capacitors.) When I buy something the first thing I do is look at the warranty. In this case the LG gives an extra year on the display. That tells me that it has been engineered to last at least that long. (I say that HP computers, displays and All-In-One printers last a week past their warranty expiration. That's how close they engineer their tolerances. So now I refuse to buy an HP product. But then I also refuse to buy Sony products, other than the PlayStation, having worked in their store and seeing all the defective returns. I'm sure that everyone has product biases.)
Yes, it can be said that "$200 is $200," but there is also something to be said for buying quality. $200 is not $200 when one frivolously spends it on other things which aren't true necessities. My friend was paying $200 a month for satellite and $250 a month for his phone plan while he was losing his house. If money is an object one can buy a Vizio that will probably last a year then die on you, as it did a friend of mine. Worried about the electricity bill? Buy a LCD/LED TV. Yeah, I'm the guy who usually will buy extended warranties. Which is why I will probably only buy a TV set from Costco since they add an extra year to the warranty and supposedly another year if you buy it through their credit card, for a total of 3 years for about $50 (cost of membership).
So when I look at the LG PA6500 I want to know if I can do more than basic adjustments. And since it does I can only hope that it will be close to the Panisonic or Samsungs after it is adjusted to within an inch of its life. Would I pay $1600 for the Panasonic 60UT50? No. It's out of my price range. Add the extended warranty for $400 (Fry's Electronics, Best Buy) and 9% taxes and now I am paying about $2200. That's too rich for my blood.
I wouldn't say that the Panasonic has "old tech," not if the 2500HZ drive is to be taken into consideration. (If anything it's LG that has the old tech - and that's just fine with me, tyvm.) At the same time I am not impressed with Samsung's "Smart Motion" or anybody's 3D, passive or active, or apps. I look at TV apps as being vastly inferior. Netflix? I'm not impressed. And why in the world would I want to watch a "UTube" video on my 1080p HDTV? Yes, computers and TVs are merging but at a high cost called Internet bandwidth, the higher the bandwidth the more it costs. Now throw in throttling and IMO it isn't practical. (I have a friend who wants nothing to do with physical media. He streams everything from his server to his XBox360, for example. Then he has a backup server and a backup server for the backup server. His electricity bill is over $300 more a month than mine.)
I justify my price by not having cable or cell phones. If I want HD Cable it costs $75 a month. That's money I can put towards the TV. That's $800 right there. (In reality I put that money toward BD purchases). So I do OTA HD through amplified rabbit ears. But I adamantly refuse to pay more than $19.99 for a BD movie. Fry Electronics is still selling "Thor" and "Captain America" for $29.99 each. NTY. I'll pick them up when they get to $9.99.
As I said, everyone has their own price ceilings. Not everyone can afford $60 8 hour games, for example. I know I can't. (Well.... the one or two exceptions a year.) And you know what the game publishers are trying to do - make it illegal to buy used games, make all games down loadable, etc. Imagine not being able to audition at TV set because all the brick and mortar stores, which will eventually include WalMart, Costco, target, et. al., no longer exist.
But be careful when you say that Panasonic "lost" $10BB in sales. It's that they didn't make the same as they had the year previous. For example, "losing money" hasn't prevented MS' XBox360 or Sony's PS3 from being sales successes. (I hated that Sony ignored gaming while pushing BD. Which was just fine with MS... But they won the HD wars by pushing cheaper priced media than HD-DVD.) Yes, it could be that they lost a majority of their sales to Samsung. But I find Samsung to be at about the same prices. I mean, really, $3500 for a 60" TV with a one year warranty? If my previous plasma showed me anything it is that the TV set will probably last about 3 years. That's about when my 42" Pani started to go. Then it was stolen. And what did I pay for that 42" Pani 3 years ago? $1200. But if something is really good I'd be willing to go as high as $1500, $1600 tops. But I don't need no stinkin' 3D. But that's just me. ymmv.