Okay. After about 2 hours of reading up on the models I found in my price range I've come up with a few observations.
1) The Sony is out
. It's not quite
the same model I found reviews on (the L5000, I believe), but it's very similar. Also, not much documentation on the one in the link. Good deal, but for a 1080p Sony, the low price kind of worries me. Apparently, it's good if you are viewing from a distance. However, I'll be about 3' away in my dorm. The lower end models (in my price range, duh) have a slight green tint that cannot be changed in the color settings. In addition, they have a slightly higher black level (aka, brighter blacks). I'm still ticked that they don't list the response time or panel type.
2) The lower end (720p; no link...Newegg doesn't have it) LG is out. I've read it's got great color capabilities but viewing angles and black light is an issue again (which is going to be the issue on most low end LCDs, I guess). I do believe this had a speedier response time, but, no biggie.
3) The higher end 1080p LG
is still in the running. Good response time. And I've read it's got a myriad of color settings. Haven't found much documentation on it though which will probably be a deal breaker--it's mentioned in a lot of threads, but mostly questions on it, no one who has one with answers. Great price for a 1080p, but like the Sony, for an LG that price makes me a little weary. The biggest reason this is still in the running is because of the fact that I might use it with my laptop. The higher res would be nice. Specs sheet.
4) I just found this Samsung
. It's virtually the same model as this
(from what I read) but it's the Costco/Sam's Club brand (which I have a membership to the latter) and actually has a 6ms response time and a little higher contrast ratio than the B460. I've had WONDERFUL luck (minus one TV incident) with Samsung for many years, but as of late those have been Plasma purchases. Not much documentation on this though either, being that it's a membership TV.
5) The Panasonic
still seems to be the front runner. I guess it has IPS-Alpha Panel technology which is a pretty big deal according to a few places. It's only 720p, but I'll take a 720 over a 1080 as long as it doesn't ghost...which is why thie IPS thing is so great I guess. The ONE thing that REALLY f-in ticks me off is the lack of analog audio out. No big deal when I'm using my computer or a game console, but if I'm watching OTA HDTV, that's gunna tick me off to no end. I'll eventually have to get an optical audio->analog converter...which seem to be like 50 bucks. Poop on that for right now. One thing that stands out is the 8ms response time though. But, I think with the IPS-A Panel tech, that might be alright. Specs
6) So...I was really sold on either the Samsung or Panny above. However, I accidentally got linked to this and now I'm sold on it. Here are the specs. Everything that's great about the Panny above except that it's 1080p and it's got a technology that mimics 120Hz. Low input lag for gaming. Everything I want and more for the same great pricing. I'll probably be ordering tomorrow. Specs AVS Thread