I'm after a 42 (poss 50) plasma screen, to be linked to blu-ray (via hdmi) and just bog standard freeview. Currently have a Samsung 32 LCD 720p and was hoping to fully utilise the blu-ray quality. Like the idea of Plasma for getting better 'blacks', so i understand?
I would recommended Panasonic every time, you only have to read the numerous reports/tests online especially the plasma models if you are really into your films, deep blacks etc
Go into the shop, ask for the remotes and reset all the settings - they fiddle with them to make one TV look better than another, or they just plain don't know how to set up TVs. Then make your mind up on what you like. Picture "quality" is subjective; as some people will say a brighter picture is better quality...
As said there is very little out in 1080p atm, no broadcast TV at all and afaik no games either, even blu rays are very limited. BUT just get a 1080p as afaik there isn't any new TVs out which are not 1080p - assuming you are getting a TV over 28''.
One thing to be aware of also it the shiny coating they are putting on TVs now. My mate has just bought a top spec Samsung plasma as he was wowed by the "shiny shiny" but got home and realised he can't have his front room lights switched on or else he gets reflections on his brand new expensive TV lol
You might find some featues on other TV's that you may not see on the Panasonic, but the Panny is more likely to still be working in 6 years. Both the caretakers at our school have chatted to TV repair men, and both have been given the same answer when asked what is the most reliable brand, Panasonic, they claimed to rarely go wrong. Infact when one of them spilt water down the back of the 50" Panasonic Plasma (reason for engineer to come out, about 3 years ago), the TV repair guy said this is the first Panasonic he has had to repair as they generally do not go wrong. The other guy when coming out for the 3rd time to his Toshiba TV said go Panasonic to, this was shortly after Samsung released the LED TV's and was told do not go near them were going out to at least 1 a day the reliability is awful, though i am guessing the technology may have matured a bit since then.
My sister in law got a 42" LG LED TV this week, and just seen the picture tonight, its awful. Non HD picture was at best bad. I would never get anything but plasma once i get above 32", plus i prefer the blacks on them.
I've had my 37" 1080i TV about 5 years and never noticed any blurring. I've got Virgin HD, stand alone blu-ray player, PS3 and always a good picture. Although when I upgrade I will go 1080p LED though. But there is also many other factors when buying a TV.