I'm in need of a new TV - my current one is good and all - some old Toshiba HDTV from like 1999/2000 - but it has the old-type screen (not flat, but "bent") and is like 5 feet in depth. I also want to get a fairy cheap but good speaker system for it. Trying to get a 40" TV as that's the best size for me and my entertainment system area.
The following are the choices I have for TV's that I've narrowed down to:
First of all you need to decide which technology you're interested in, Plasma or LCD? It sounds like you're swaying towards LCD which is a good choice. Plasma is usually cheaper and offers better blacks if you have control of your lighting (for example, basement theater). I personally like the bright and vivid colors that LCD's offer. If you decide to go Plasma, look no further than Panasonic. If you're going LCD, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony and Sharp are all great choices. If you're a CostCo member they're an excellent place to buy a TV. First you get a 90 day no questions asked return policy with $0 restocking fee. Plus a standard 2 year warranty for free. HDTV's @ CostCo. They have a different selection at local warehouses and membership is only $50/yr.
IMHO Samsung offers the best bang for your buck compared to Sony.
Have you seen Amazon's $400 coupon offer? The Samsung LN40B650 can be had for $899.
Before you buy any TV or sound system, search AVSForum.com for the model number. AVSForum is the WHT of the audio/visual world.