I paid more than that for both my 60" Elite KURO and my 55" XBR8, and you know what, I have zero regrets. I wanted state-of-the-art panels, and I was willing to shell out a premium for them. The problem I have with this latest crop of high-end edge lit sets is that you are still paying a premium for them, but they all seem to come with some major compromises when it comes to overall picture quality. It's almost as if the manufacturers are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. They tempt us with sexy low profile bezels and ultra thin panels, but at the end of the day, the picture has actually gotten worse, not better. I just finished watching a movie on my XBR8 with my wife in a pitch dark room, and the set looked perfect. No banding, No flashlighting. No clouding. Great screen uniformity. Inky blacks. The technology clearly exists, but the TV makers have abandoned it.
Sorry about the rant, but the whole thing just pisses me off. It seems to me that if consumers are willing to shell out the big bucks for a top of the line set, they should get the absolute best technology available. This always used to be the case, but it isn't anymore. Perhaps building such sets just isn't a profitable business model these days. It clearly didn't work out so well for Pioneer.