That's the bottom line. Also, make certain the store you patronize has a good return policy in case you don't like what you bring home. FWIW, a friend of mine bought two different LCD models, one of which he promptly returned based on less than stellar PQ at home w/ his setup. That's how he was able to compare side by side results where under his particular conditions. YMMV.
I really don't see the issue of 'downgrading' from a 1080p DLP to a 720p Pio as relevant, provided you don't see any SDE. I didn't notice it in the stores, but you might given that distance. The reality is both of those sets are amazing.
Question: you really watch the HD feeds 60% of the time with your sat feed? How would the ability of each HDTV to be able to handle SD broadcasts factor in? When I upgrade next year that will be a factor for me when I purchase a new HDTV.
I am having a real hard time deciding between the new Panny TH-50PZ85U and the Pioneer PDP-5080HD. Please help me with any good bad experiences or any info. They are both about $2500, which is the top of my budget. I sit about 8-10ft away from the set and it will be facing a window with blinds on it. So a good anti-glare coating is a must. The obvious difference between the two is 720p vs 1080p and I am a bit scared of going from a 1080p DLP to a 720p plasma. Native 24p for blu-ray would also be a plus, but I don't know how noticable that really is. The set will be used about 60% for sattelite from Directv (mostly HD), 30% dvd/BD, and 10% PS3 gaming. Again, any help is greatly appreciated.
I can also get the Pioneer PRO1150HD Elite from a local store for around $2500 or wait for the neww Panny 800 series to come out.