The Panasonic Viera line's life span is 60,000 hours.
If you shop carefully you can land a Plasma with better definition and color than LCD or DLP and with 60,000 hours of service the total cost over the life of the HDTV Plasma will figure out to be less than the total cost of the cheaper DLP or any other high definition rear projection set that requires frequent bulb changes. All generation 5 Plasmas will run around 60,000 hours so don't buy an older model Plasma at any price because it will have less than half the life of a Gen. 5 set. A friend who installs systems told me the Samsung and Panasonics top his list for best Plasma Brand Names. By the way, its obviously still not a good idea to walk around the house leaving the TV on as background noise-just burning up the life of the set for no gain. Based on the above I just bought the Panasonic TH-42PX25U/P for under $2600.00. It was an out of box clearance set from Best Buy. Happy Shopping and have a great day, Mac.