I just came back from Tweeter where I was able to evaluate the Pioneer PDP5016HD and the Panasonic 50PX600U side by side. To be honest, going in I was already pre-biased towards the Pioneer unit. On first appearances, the Pioneer is a very impressive unit with its sleek all black casing. I always thought of the Pioneer brand to cater more the high end user. Thus, I really thought I would prefer their Plasma screen to the Panasonic 600U model. However, the Panasonic, simply put, looked better.
Most noticeable to me was lack of sharpness in Pioneer (when compared side by side with the Panasonic); at times, especially brighter scenes, the image had a somewhat washed out effect. Even after spending considerable time in the show room adjusting all the display settings (contrast, brightness, sharpness), I just couldn't make it look as good as the 600U.
Maybe this was just a subpar unit in need of more adjustment?
Maybe the connections in the showroom were faulty, maybe for some other reason I was not aware? However when it came down to it the Panasonic clearly stood out as the superior unit.
Do you all share a similar opinion? Perhaps the Pioneer is more comprable to the lower end Panasonic 60U? What have been your impressions?