DLP televisions with the new PhlatLight(tm) LEDs are 'said' to last as long as the television without replacement, a far cry from 15 years. Other than that exception, I agree about RP sets being high-maintenance.
From what I understand, Panasonic is one of the most dependable brands, along with Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba.
LCDs, in general, require very little maintenance and have a pretty good dependability rating vs. similar plasmas.
You don't always get what you pay for when it comes to TV sets. Some people pay much, much more than they should thinking that the exorbitant price must directly correlate to a long and wallet-friendly future. That's not always the case.
I suggest that you find a few LCDs and Plasmas that fit the criteria that you need (screen size, panel size, etc.,) then do some research on those set from great user review sites like Amazon.com's and CNet for expert reviews and advice.
Hope that helps,