It's a refurb, yes, but at least you don't have to mess with any rebates. And shipping is fairly reasonable at $11. Not a bad deal for a den or bedroom TV!
Is 26 the new 24? I'm talking about TV sizes, of course. As time goes on, bigger screens inevitably get lower prices.
Case in point: CompUSA has the refurbished Vizio VA26LHDTV10LT 26-inch HDTV for $229.99 (plus about $11 for shipping). If memory serves, that's the lowest price I've seen on a 26-incher. (Indeed, over at Wal-Mart, it sells new for $288 plus tax.)
The Vizio has fairly typical specs for a TV of this size: 1,366 by 768 resolution (i.e., 720p), 10-watt stereo speakers, a pair of HDMI inputs, one component-video input, and a VGA port in case you want it to pull monitor duty.
As you might expect, this refurbished set comes with a 90-day warranty. Is it worth giving up nine months of coverage to save $60 or so? I think so, but that's just because I'm, y'know, cheap.
CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but the user reviews on both CompUSA's and Wal-Mart's product pages are very positive overall, averaging a little over 4 stars out of 5. Definitely worth a look if you're in the market.
Bonus deal: Proof positive that it's always worth shopping around, even for digital downloads, Maroon 5's new album is available from Wal-Mart for $9. Amazon and iTunes charge $12.99 and $14.99, respectively, though I will admit those versions come with bonus tracks.