Well, you found me.
I was in exactly this same position tyring to buy tvs for my GFs parents new appartment.
I have a 42" 6UY and a 50" 7UY Hd. So, I know quality of picture and what is imporant to me at least.
I really wanted to get them something nice, they didn't want the HD's and are only watching DTV SD. they cannot get HD yet in this new appartment.
So, I was going to get the consumer panny for all the reasons you listed, as well that I really LOVE the picture quality, and liked the integration. tuner, speakers, everything. I won't be able to setup the AV system for some months now, and wanted them to have speakers and such to get going. I know, I know WHY woultn'd I just buy them a 42" 7UY and be done with it, that would actually be cheaper and the money could go to buying the AV center and all. But, I needed integration.
So, i was set on the panny. BUt, BUT it didn't fit. Too wide. so, I looked at hte Sony, but it was .33 inches too wide too, AND I didin't really like the picture quality. A bit softer, a bit more color saturation. I also don't really like the solid silver form factor.
THen, I looked at the SAMSUNG. All I can say is stay away from the samsung. I don't think the picture quality is anything like these other TV's.
Finally, I found the hitachi and the JVC thanks mostly to people on this forum. Of course I went to look at them, and I think the JVC has a clearly better image quality.
After having it now a week, I was able to get some tweaking done and they love it and I am actually pretty happy with the image quality I was able to get it to display.
Blacks are good (probably due to panasonic glass) resolution with SD is strong. DVD's look great. Has some warbling burn in reducer.
Would I have liked an ATSC tuner YEAH! But, wasn't to be.
If you like me have size restrictions, then I don't think you will be disappointed with this TV.
I do like the all black version, and video only can sell you one cheap. Cheaper than Best Buy. Look for anothre retailer in your area though, since BB will price match. AND, buy the best buy rewards card for 9.99. It gave me 90$ back on the purchase.