I recently purchased this item locally but am so impressed by the TV that I felt I should post my impression for others trying to decide where to spend their hard earned money, especially these days.
First, I would recommend that you to your local electronics store and look around and see which sets grab your attention as what is best to my eyes may not work for you. In my case I was somewhat limited in selection since the TV must fit into a TV cabinet that we own, so 40" was my absolute max. This criteria limited me to Sony, Samsung, and Vizio (in order of price point). A local warehouse club had the Vizio and a comparable Samsung (ln40b610 vs. ln40b630) for side by side comparison, and simply put there was no comparison what-so-ever. The Samsung wins hands down in terms of picture clarity, overall brightness, and contrast. The 80,000:1 contrast on this TV really shines. The Samsung to Sony comparison was a bit tighter as both units offered incredible picture quality and features but again the contrast ratio on the Samsung just made everything appear more pleasing to my eye. Given this, we purchased the Samsung and haven't looked back. Every time my wife and I watch a Blu-ray movie we are even more impressed with the picture quality! Seriously, this is a great TV at any price. The only TV I looked at that had better contrast was the Samsung LED (3,000,000:1) model but the price difference was just too much to justify.