I've really been eyeballing the LG 50PV450 Plasma for quite some time now, and Coscto finally put it on a very short sale which ends today, so it's about $750 cdn, the same as Futureshop and Best Buy, but with the better return and warranty service.
I spent nearly 2 hours at FS and Best Buy looking at Tv's this weekend, going from Plasmas to LCD's to LED's and have a difficult time because they all have their disadvantages... LCD's are bright, but noisy/jaggy images vs Plasma. LED's are perfect in most regards, but very expensive (I found a lower end LED for about $950 with smart functions from LG (47LV5400) however, the viewing angles were noticeably worse than the Sony LCD and the LG Plasmas beside it!
Both BB and FS turn the lights off over the TV area, so judging panels, especially Plasmas, is difficult. I do find the Plasmas to be much darker, however, there was a Panasonic TC-P50x3 which was MUCH brighter than the other Plasmas for some reason even with settings similar (Vivid, Brightness 50) it was MUCH brighter than the PV450 eve if I turned up the brightness all the way. That Panny is only a 720p set though for about the same price.
I would consider an LED as small as 42-46" if it had a great picture and smart functions for about the same price as the LG Plasma ($750 is about my budget).
Panasonic has a couple competitors, slightly more money, with more of an anti-glare panel than the LG (the LG is like a mirror, sharp reflections, the S30 from Panasonic has more muted reflections, but I don't like the design, and lack of swivel stand which I will need in my apartment).
I live in a bachelor apartment, and here is a picture of what I'm dealing with. I do now have full length curtain installed over horizontal venetians, but am I going to have to keep my place dark like a dungeon all the time?
I face east, so I only get direct light early in the morning. Currently I just have a 27" CRT (98 lbs worth! LOL) and glare isn't too bad but sometimes if we watch a movie in the eve, I like to draw the curtains. I suspect with 50" of real estate I will have even more problems?
The swivel stand will be perfect for watching from the couch, or from my bed which we often do.