Fascinating anecdotal evidence. Unfortunately according to Consumers Reports reliability ratings Panasonic plasmas have proven to be the most reliable TVs ever tested. In LCDs Sonys have almost 50% more problems reported.
I've logged over 20,000 hours in 4 years on my original 42" Pansonic EDTV in my smoke filled, dusty tavern. Looks exactly like the day I bought it and picture wise it put's the newer Vizio LCDs (they were cheap though) to shame. Had to move the Pansonic to a back wall to minimize the head to head comparisons.
I like to watch my movies on Panasonic plasmas, the depth, the natural looking detailed blacks, no motion lag, reliabilty and extreme viewing angles that gloried computer screens can't match make it a no brainer.