Well, today I made the purchase! Bought the 7178 through Magnolia, and it will be delivered next Saturday morning! I can't wait!
Since my old non-HD 4:3 53" died on us 2 weeks ago, we have been using a 27" in the living room. The room is about 18" by 20", so in a room this size the 27" looks incredibly small. Especially considering it is sitting on a small stand inside a 75" wide media niche in that room. So, looking forward to the upgrade in size, but more importantly, that awesome video quality and HD (which up until now, has only existed in the media room up-stairs).
I got the 4 year service plan too, which covered 1 bulb. With the amount of TV time in the living room, we are sure to blow through a bulb in that 4 year period.
I'm going to use the Samsung stand until a better wooden stand can be found. I have the DirecTV HR20 ready to go, along with an HD antenna mounted to the roof. I also have a monster power center ready to go. Will get another X360 and HD-DVD add-on in time. I'm afraid the TV might arrive before the cables I ordered...oh well.
Anyhow, I'm excited, and will continue to watch this link for tips and tricks, thanks for all those you all have already provided!
So, I'll report back when it arrives!