I had been waiting to buy an HDTV for several years. The quality was just never there for me. I always liked the tubes but the price was way too high. My 32" Sony was good enough until it died a month ago.
It was between the
Sony 42A10 (approx. $1,600 OTD w/ 5 year warranty)
Sony 36XS955 ($950 OTD w/ 5 yr warranty)
Now most content is SD and my family watches quite a few VHS tapes. For an LCD RP the 42A10 is the best that I could find for SD & HD, especially for the price. But was it worth the extra $650? I ultimately decided no.
Other than the 240 lb., three person job this TV has gone beyond my expectations. SD is great, HD is the best out there with true blacks, great colors and a bright screen. I even zoom my HD channels (some clipping occurs) and the picture is great.
This TV is of the highest quality. The tuner picked up dozens of HD channels with a direct hookup from my cable from the wall. Yes, no Cable Box, no Cable Card, just a gold plated cable from the wall to the TV. The quality is great. The 480i On Demand movies look DVD like!
I even hooked up an OTA w/rabbit ears to see what I could pick up. Mind you I am 50-60 miles from Chicago and I was able to get all major channels in SD and HD. Quality was good with the exception of breakups if I got too close to the antenna.
The funny thing was that I was ready to bring the TV back after the first 2-3 hrs that I had it. I was getting a purple hue in the corner of the screen that wouldn't go away. I finally realized that my speaker was too close and it went away.
Overall this is a great TV for a great price. Go to the Sony Outlet and get the 5 year warranty. You will not be sorry. If 36" isn't big enough for you then you have many choices depending on the money.
These are my best buy picks and I spent months evaluating all of them.
720p - Sony 42A10 ($1,600) or 50A10 ($1,800) / Panasonic Plasma 42" ($2,600)
1080p (de-interlacing) - Toshiba 56HM195 ($2,300) or 62HM195 ($2,800)
1080p - TBD