HomieG, I'm not sure I understand your comment on LCD vs LED. I haven't looked up the model you mention - maybe that is the older non-LED CCFL backlight. I suspect that CCFL, which are edge-lit, will probably fade away in 2012.
LCD with LED backlight comes in a variety of forms. Edge-lit that can be either fixed brightness (although adjustable) or dynamic brightness. The later improving black levels somewhat. The other form has the LEDs clustered behind parts of the panel. They are only dynamic brightness as far as I know so even better black levels. The best black levels being this kind with more/many clusters, only in the Elites right now. There is no doubt that the Elites are extremely impressive.
I only use DirecTV DVR, Blu-Ray player, and a Mac Mini. All going through an HDMI switch with a single cable going to the TV. Don't even use the TV for sound - it's speakers aren't even attached.
I completely agree with your sentiment regarding 3D, DLNA, internet, etc. Unfortunately the industry refuses to put out a top-of-the-line picture quality without all this other garbage piled on. No doubt an excuse for high prices. The Sharp I'm looking at has a model with and without 3D, the LC70LE734U and LC70LE735U, but most retailers only carry the 3D version likely because it's only a couple of hundred dollars more (less than 10%).
They are all running scared of Apple. I personally think Apple will likewise blow it with their rumored TV - putting everything into one product (of a few different sizes, probably <40" to start). Apple mistakenly believes that an iMac-like TV is what people want. Well, we're all Apple computers (4 of them), 2 iPhones and an iPad at my house and I don't want that kind of TV. I don't want an expensive product with everything in it that I have to change out when I want just one set of features improved. Offer the tiny Apple-TV like box that drives whatever display we have. And TV makers need to be like computer monitor makers - just the damn display, thank you. Problem is then TV is further commoditized and they make no money at it. Too bad I say. No wonder TV sales are way down.