I've seen their displays on and off over the years, and the last time was a month ago at a high end retailer in San Jose. It was on deep discount, below $5k for a 43".
The picture was absolutely drop dead gorgeous, but the contrast was not nearly as good as the Fujitsyu hanging next to it.
It depends on what you are looking for, but I would say not. It may have had marginal improvement over the Fujitsu if you stared long enough, but put them in separate rooms and you would not be able to tell the difference.
Runco really shines with their front projectors, especially their three gun CRT lines. I think their plasmas are mostly filler in the catalog for people who have way way too much money on their hands.
Sam's a really nice guy though, not that that has anything to do with PQ. I went on a tour of their facility in Hayward a few years ago that was set up by the HTF (I don't have many chances to name drop so
). A lot of nice toys.