Pleased with the Toshiba 26HF84 - I'll put it another way: I'm surprised at how pleased I am with this set.
We're somewhat lucky in the Vancouver downtown area of Shaws cable service, because we have very, very good analog cable to my apartment. Clean/good signal. The Toshiba takes the analog from it's built in regular NTSC tuner, and upconverts it to 1080i. As long as the signal is clean, the picture is really good.
One of my jobs in television is video/shading. So I spend some of my work using a 19" CRT Sony Pro Monitor for our HDTV ready Hitachi studio cameras. At the distance I work at, the scan lines are obvious... whereas with the Toshiba and it's mostly excellent digital "engine", the performance of upconverting is much better than similar sets I saw even last generation. MUCH better.
I bought this over the equivalent Samsung, although I suspect its the same picture tube, because this set was available at a healthy discount over the month of December. Better even, than you wonderful people in the U.S. could manage. The CanuckBuck has improved considerably in 2004 compared to the almight American dollar, but still... not *that* much :)
The Toshiba, with DVD progressive (480P) has also been great. Stretch modes are natural if you need to use them, and you *should* use mode "1" for regular 4:3 channels, to keep the wear on the CRT even.
And warning! Don't use any setting for colour, contrast, brightness and sharpness other than one you set yourself... even the Sports, Movie options are still *way* too bright and contrasty and too hard driving on the tube. The ergonomic engineers at Toshiba did the correct thing: you can keep a "custom" setting for *each* input. really, really smart!
hope this mini-review helps. I have a Shaw Motorola 6208 HDTV box/PVR arriving in a week to use the HDMI input. I just hope the 6208 "talks" properly with the 26HF84 and I'll be good to go.
btw, this set was for my bedroom. at a distance of just short of 8 feet from the headboard , it's fine. I would also suggest it for someones den, office, etc. Anything more than probably... 10 feet or so, you'd need a larger size.
My living room has a Sanyo Z1 projector, and the usual goodies for Surround, Bass Shakers etc. My next projector, more because of evolution than revolution will have an HDMI input of some sort - I'm waiting for the next generation of reasonably priced front projectors in LCD or DLP to make their debut, and then I will upgrade. The Z1 has been a remarkable value over the past 18 months, and I still marvel at just how good it can be with DVD sourced material. Trying it with component output HDTV will be interesting as well.
Good luck with your search.