I would suggest looking at Panasonic, Samsung and Pioneer sets.
NOthing beats a Panasonic plasma! If you aren't playing video games on it and pausing the screen constantly, a plasma is the way to go. DLP's are excellent if you are sitting right in front of them level, but that's about it. I almost bought an LCD (sony bravia W series, 120Hz), but decided not to. I'll pick up a new tv when I move to my new home.
And what was posted above is absolutely right, Plasma black levels can't be touched by LCD's.
One advantage I have is a business associate owns the largest TV/audio store in the area. He's selling me any TV I want at his cost, he'll show me his invoice.
We have a SONY KDL52 XBR 4 (52") ...... one of the absolute best LCD TVs you can find on the market in terms of colors, sharpness and overall picture quality. The optimum viewing distance for a fully resolved 1080P LCD TV is 7 feet as you can see from this distance calculator chart so I would suggest going for the biggest size you can afford. With the new XBR 8 due soon you may be able to get a very good deal on this TV and I would recommend pitting stores such as Besy Buy, Circuit City, Sears and ABT Electronics against each other to get the best deal. Good luck
Sears - yes, I typed, Sears - had a deep sale on the HDTV that day (lower than advertised, actually), and if you used a Sears credit card, another ten percent cash back. I watched all of the ads for months after the purchase, and it wasn't until late spring that an equivalent model was as low as what we had paid. While BestBuy et al do have good prices, the combination of the low sale price and the cashback at Sears made this the optimal choice (for us). And the cashback, BTW, was available in one month, much better than those scam rebate offers one sees...
Fantastic ! While money isn't the most important thing, only the village idiot thinks money is unimportant...
And having your friend available should mean you'll get the kind of expert assistance that you would want to have. Win-win, all around.
Let us know how this works out, eh ?