"If you walk into a Best Buy or any other retail store and head over to the TV section, what immediately hits you is the brightness of most of the LCD sets and the comparatively subdued brightness coming from any (remaining) plasma sets still on the floor. In the unscientific forced side-by-side comparison environment of a brightly lit store, the LCD panels just show better."
This is why.
I just (as in: 3 weeks ago) brought home a Panasonic TCP55VT60 plasma. I knew which model I was purcasing long before I walked into the store, but for giggles (and yes, this could be classified as me being a prick, but it was interesting), I walked into the Best Buy, was accosted by a salesman, and said simply that I was interested in a 55" TV that had terrific color rendition. He showed me every TV they had in 55" EXCEPT the plasma. When I asked about the TV we skipped over, he said (I roughly quote) "Nah, that's a Plasma. They are heavy, run hot, and the screens burn in after a few years, and they're just not as bright or as good." When asked why they have one, the answer: "Well, some people still like them, but everyone else has moved on", implying I'd be an idiot for even looking at it.
I realize that was just one salesman at one store, but it's that exact mindset that killed it. It's not price competitive, they are hot, and they do show like crap in the store. The 65VT60 they had in the store was set in Normal mode, and I noticed that more than a few of the LCD's were set to either Vivid or Showroom modes, really blasting the color out. Nevermind that the VT50's and 60's (and the ZT's, which are even a little better) are beating the very best of the Pioneer Kuro sets, long regarded as *the* gold standard in TV's, and getting them to display to 90% of their potential is a single setting away, no professional calibration or screwing around needed.
It's a unfortunate time for the few of us who give a shit about colour accuracy and black levels. I hope the OLED's are able to cover the gap pretty soon.
Oh, and I told Best Buy to fuck itself and bought the TV from a local chain for less, and with a salesman who wasn't a complete dipshit. And, as a completely unsolicited review, if you're considering one....yes, they are that good. In a brightly lit room, they're ok. In a dark room, they're jaw-dropping good.