Answer to #1: Yes.
Answer to #2: No.
I can't help with questions 3 or 4. Sorry.
But, if you have the room for a slighty deeper cabinet, take a look at the Sony SXRD rear-projection TV. It's response rate is 4ms, which is faster than any LCD or Plasma out now, and this will be important when watching sports (fast motion).
I am searching for a new TV for almost 6 months now and have researched on this topic so much that I think I could hold a job in any appliance store without a problem. At first I thought I'd buy an LCD, because most sources indicated that this was the "future". Than I waited until the 1080p TV's came out and now I am more confused than ever:
Mission: Spend less than $4,000 for a flat panel TV for a dimly lit room, which is strong in two main features: a) sports in HD on cable TV and b) playing movies from my PC. I do not own or plan to own a DVD player, HD player and use my stereo as audio source, my PC as DVR.
1) Plasma or LCD. I like the Plasma picture better in the stores, but will it work well with movies from the PC?
2) Will the 1080p make a difference when watching movies from the PC?
3) I am looking at LCD TVs: Samsung LN-S4695 and LN-4695. What is the difference between them? The Sony XBR is just too ugly and the Sharp's picture is not as good to my eye as the Samsung's.
4) The Plasma TVs I am looking at are: Panasonic TH-42PX60U, Pioneer PDP5016HD, Pioneer PDP-5070HD, and Pioneer PRO-940HD.