Yeah, i recently bought a TV and i did a ton of research. I ended up getting the Panasonic, Model: TH-42PX80U. I'm not planning on getting a bluray player anytime soon, so 1080p was not that big of a deal to me. Also, for a person with normal eyesight (whatever that is) sitting 12 ft from the tv you probably wont notice a big difference. For fast action such as football and action movies, Plasma is the way to go. There are 120Hz refresh rate LCD TV's out now....but i haven't seen them in person yet.
As far as the Panasonic goes:
Panasonic is supposed to be the 2nd best in Plasma after Pioneer. I am totally happy with this TV. Also, the cabinet is a lot nicer looking than the pics on line. Been watching it for 2 days now and i would honestly recommend it.
While i was researching and asking people i knew for their opinions a lot of them recommended Vizio. I did find a really nice Vizio that was 1080P and based on all the rave reviews I've heard from friends...i was going to get it. However, i had to get it from Best Buy and they do not carry the Vizio brand.