Your critique of Plasma vs LCD is right on. People like LCD for movies and games and Plasma for sports.
Of the two sets I like the Viera but I can't help but recommend you look at the Samsung LN46A630 which I think is the best of both worlds.
The 630 has better DCR and 120 mhz response time for motion blur.
I've narrowed my searching to 2 TVs finally, and they are:
Sharp Aquos LC42D64U
The plasma has great video speed, incredible darks, very durable, and not so reflective compared to other plasmas.
The LCD has a pretty fast response time, brighter and more vivid colors, closer true colors, lots of image tuning, less power usage, and lighter. Sharp is also an extremely reputable company known for their fast and friendly customer service and repair/replace plans. LCD also has some better reviews albeit the LCD set is relatively older than the plasma. Also, better for basic cable.
If a plasma breaks, thats it. Video noise and artifacts are not uncommon, even with incredible contrast and great black levels, the darks on movies still seem to "creep,"
LCD is not fun with dead pixels, slightly more expensive, not as dark blacks, ghosting due to response time, not the best for movies/fast sports.
I've been reading reviews, and both sets have very high ratings. In fact, each set has better reviews on different sites I've come across. I will watch everything from basic cable to HD Discovery and from DVD to Blu-Ray, and sports to video games, so I don't really have a specific taste.
Any help would be useful