Thank you for your response. I do agree that a huge part of a HDTV purchase is checking them out in person. Unfortunately, most stores do not put a lot of effort into optimizing the display .. but the P.C. Richards a few blocks away from me recently created a wall to display their HD LCDs and they are all connected via component video to a HD source.
The thing is, the more I read and research about HD and delve into stuff like video capture, the more I find myself getting critical about stuff like black levels and contrast ratios.
One of my main complaints with LCD - and to some degree plasma - is that there are many instances where - for example - facial features are not detailed. They look smooth and pixelated. I am hoping this is a result of not using a HD compatible connection and a poor source.
Maybe I should get a crt based HDTV for now...one of those Samsung 32 inch slim fit deals.