Side viewing is traditionally better on a plasma, but what degree of side-viewing are you looking at? In most cases, off center viewing with today's LCD panels is still pretty impressive and can compliment most applications nicely. The true test here is to look at the unit in the store, and stand off-angle to see if that's acceptable for your situation.
The audio is a result of the panels being more thin, and the availability and increase in Home Theater systems. Since there's often less than an inch to work with in many of today's flat panel designs (and traditional tube televisions had several inches in comparison), there is only so much that can be done with the audio options. And this years' models are designed to be extremely thin in form.
I do appreciate you considering Samsung products. If I can help further, please let me know.
Does that help?
I am in the market for a new high-end (non-3D) HDTV and am interested in the UN46C6800. The problem is that since it is a new model I cannot find any reviews or customer feedback. However, the biggest complaints I have seen with similar models is poor side viewing and audio. I am somewhat perplexed that (any brand) TV costing thousands of dollars would have poor audio. And why are there so many issues with off center viewing? How does the UN46C6800 measure up in these areas and overall? Does a model such as this (LED) measure up to similar Plasmas? Please help. I am ready to make a purchase and am leaning towards Samsung but am on-the-fence on LCD, LED vs. Plasma (again non-3D) and the related model. Regardless, I would not want to go larger than 46 inches. Thanks!