Re: Where is the good source for on line TV buying?
In general, if you are going to be watching your HDTV in a bright or sunlit room, LCD is brighter and often less reflective. If you can control the light and want at least a 42" set or more, plasma is generally considerably better and usually cheaper in the 42" and higher size sets--except they use about 1/4 to 1/3 more electricity than LCD's.
If you can afford them, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite Kuro sets have the deepest blacks--hence the best contrast, but Pansonics are much cheaper and also very good. Some new LCD's (new Samsung 95 series and a new Sony model) are backlit by LED lights and are the only LCD sets with very deep blacks, but they are quite expensive. And since they are yet lit pixel by pixel, these new LED backlit LCD sets will often produce halo's if a black or very dark pixel or picture is on a white background--or vice versa. This doesn't happen with plasma's, but other than those fairly few instances, the new LED LCD sets have eye popping and wonderful pictures.
Also, plasma sets have much better off-axis viewing than LCD sets. With most LCD direct view sets, unless you are in the "sweet spot"--directly in front of the screen--the picture rapidly deteriorates the further off center one is---as opposed to plasma's, which are excellent as long as you can basically see the screen. Vizio's, whose plasma's aren't the equal of Pioneer or Panasonic, still have a reasonably good picture at very inexpensive (for plasma's anyway) prices.
In sum, much depends on your viewing environment and on your budget. If your budget is sub $1,000 you can get 32" LCD's and some less than premium brand LCD's up to 37" and 42"--such as Vizio.
Vizio has recently released a 50" plasma with the highly regarded REON HQV video scaling and de-interlacing chipset. It is Vizio model# VP505XVT - 50" plasma HDTV. It can be bought at $1,499 and should be at Costco or Sam's Club either now or very soon. Otherwise one can buy it directly from Vizio.com , but I presume the shipping charges with the insurance will be fairly high. Panasonic has a number of very good 42" to 58" plasma's ( and even 65") that have a very good track record. They have a number of different 42", 50", 58", and 65" sets at 1080p with various configurations and video chipsets. One should look at them in a store first and compare them to Vizio and other brands. A good test is trying to look at the cheaper models next to the considerably more expensive Pioneer 1080p Kuro models, such as the PDP- 5020FD (from $2,275 up to $3,500) and the PDP- 6020FD (from $3,760 to $4,750). I think Costco is selling the 60" Pioneer at just under $4K, but I have seen it at other places for a bit less, although Costco is very consumer friendly and has generous return policies as opposed to the slightly cheaper internet sites where things can get somewhat dicey.