Cam, here is a two cent intro. Just don't jump on me if you know all this already, I'm just going through the basics i can think of off the top of my head. I'd go with HDMI if you have the option from your cable box and DVD /BluRay, that will simplify things dramatically and reduce wire clutter and reconnection time if you need to unplug it all for whatever reason. Monoprice seems to be the source for wire that everyone here supports. Blue Jeans cables is another good site for cheap quality wires. If you go with component, try to use the optical out from the TV and Cable Box so you get 5.1.
I would say go to AVS forum and they likely have a thread dedicated to your TV series. It dramatically sped up the tweak of my RPTV. You will get a quick handle what changes everybody has adopted and how to get into the service menu to make real changes. If you don't have a BluRay player I would put that on your short list. There are some out for much cheaper now.
With a big 1080p TV you need to feed that beast some sweet 1080p food. I recommend Dark Knight as the eye candy of choice with its IMAX images. (Adrian mentioned Darkest
Knight, apparently a love story between Joker and Robin, but I have not seen it so I will reserve judgment. Not that there is anything wrong with that!)
Yell if you have specific question, I am sure the answers are here.