I'm in an identical situation. My wife wants my kids' gaming systems out of the living room. We only have a 2011 40" Insignia LCD (has a decent panel in it, though) there now.
I plan on buying a 55 or 60 inch one. The room is bright in the day so I'm stuck with LCD. I'd actually prefer a matte finish, too, but there aren't many choices for those. I figured Super Bowl sales would be prime time, but there wasn't many good sales that I found yet.
I'd like to stick to $1000 but would consider bumping it up if the product warrants it. I have a TIVO and Blu-ray player with enough smart features so technically I don't need my TV to be smart, too, although I realize the manufactures put the better screens in those products. I don't have a 3d source, so 3d isn't really necessary. If it did have 3d, I'd prefer passive over active. Given our seating arrangement it would be nice if the viewing angle wasn't horrible, but at this price I don't expect much. I also need an audio out as I use a sound bar.
Cnet seems like a good place to start: http://reviews.cnet.com/best-60-63-inch-tvs/
The Panasonic plasma recommended by Cnet was tempting, but I don't think it would work with the lighting in our room. Plus they are becoming hard to find.
The Sharp LC-60LE650 is on sale now at BBY for $900. Even though it is only $750, I wouldn't get the 450 series because it doesn't have enough adjustments from what I've read. The Sharp 650 is probably my current front-runner. The LC-60LE857U is on sale for $1500 now, too. Not sure if the extra features (Quatron, 240 hz, 3d) is worth the difference to me, though. For $1500 the 70" version of the 650 model might be available.
Cnet also listed the Vizio E series as a decent low end panel. It is only $800 at BBY and maybe WalMart. The QWERTY remote is a smart addition for these TVs with apps. I think the $1300 M-series is the cheapest panel of this size with local dimming, but I'm not sure how effective it would be. It seems Vizio has more stories of reliability issues when reading, but that is hard to confirm.
Samsungs always come up, too, although it seems unless you are willing to spend $2k, the quality of the lower end ones are no better than the Sharp and Vizio models. Can anybody comment on that? The F6300/F6400 seems to be about the lowest quality that would compare here.
I'm going to head into BBY and have a look in-person to see what sticks out.