make sure if you're going to get the aquos, get the newer ones. the older ones had banding issues. i love my samsung 4645. and yes get the cables at monoprice. they're out in rancho so their shipping is really fast. the avs forums are a good place to do some research. there are PLENTY of people with model specific threads when you narrow your choice down and you can see the pros and cons of each.
the sharp aquos' are great, but i'd give Panasonic plasmas a look. the black level is soooo much better than any lcd. i'd suggest the 42p700u. aside from pioneer kuro's, it has the best picture quality i've ever seen. you might even be able to get a free panasonic blu ray player with it if you look around.
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I don't think I'm alone here in saying that a rear projection HDTV has better quality video and is less expensive... Why LCD? I can't say that I'm a big fan of them other than the fact that they are thinner...
it's all in the eye... personally, i think the black levels on plasmas tend to posterize a little too much.
as far as LCDs are concerned i've found the Aquos to have the best contrast around. the ONLY gripe i have about mine (32" 720p in the bedroom) is that the television speakers are very weak and will sound blown with movies that have moments of considerable duration in frequencies closer to the sub-harmonic level... rumbles and s***.
perhaps. with the only drawback being, maybe viewing angles.
i prefer LCD to plasma though, and when i got the set for the bedroom, the size and weight were so jammin' on the one.
ima go chingonie rice-a-rony when i decide to get the BIG ONE. but for the room, the LCD was right.