So last night I was at NFM
for the Berkshire sale (got a great deal on carpet). I got to take a look at most of these TVs in person.
The 70 inch Sharps looked great from the front but I will concur with what's been said about the side angle viewing, it was noticeably lacking. Which is too bad because otherwise I probably would have gone this route. (I REALLY want 70 inches!!!)
They also carry all of the Mits DLP's... let me tell you the 92 inch is a freaking giant! Anyway I took a look at the 73 inch and found it had the same side angle viewing issues as the Sharp. I knew DLP wasn't going to be strong in this area but it might just be too much of a problem for my room since it's setup to be really wide (23'). This is also a bummer because it was my fall back option to save money today (~$900) and wait a few years for this part of the market to grow up.
Panasonic... I found a 50 inch VT50 to gaze upon and it was fantastic! Looks like the 65 inch model of it is going to be over 3k so that's just not an option for me. I guess i'm going to have to look into the 65 inch VT30 or ST30. In the stores open box sales section they had a 65 inch VT30 sitting right next to one of the 70 inch Sharps. The Sharp looked way better but I think that might have had something to do with their signal splitter or possibly something being setup wrong on the plasma. I really used that opportunity to compare 65 inches against 70 inches. It wasn't a giant difference but still significant.
I'm more frustrated with my options here than anything else. I think I need to take another trip over there without the family so I can focus on the sets a bit more.