Tom, someone is trying to take advantage of you and the wife. A lot of these features and extras are marketing hype. If you have a 25" screen now, a 42" will look huge, especially if the viewing distance does not change. You don't *need* 120 Hz, you don't *need* 1080p, and you don't *need* a 46-52" set. Monster Cables are way, way overpriced. Professional calibration (adjusting the settings by computer) is only something that high-end videophiles and movie studios need. Certainly you don't need to pay 200 bucks to have someone come and look at your living room! Outrageous! It's especially despicable if the people trying to oversell you and the wife on all this are aware that she is retiring.
LCD TV is not the only kind, just the most popular. CRT sets, in both rear and front projection, still provide an excellent picture. However, CRTs seemed to have vanished from store shelves in the US. Probably so they can upsell the whole country with flat panels. Good for you doing more research. Cnet's HDTV World is a great website with tons of info. Also, when they try to upsell you on Monster Cable, take a look at the price of cables at MonoPrice where they make good cables inexpensively. You can hook up your own TV and rent a calibration disc to make adjustments yourself. Good luck!