fahrenheit: If you can find someone parting with a smaller 2011 model in order to get a larger 2012 model, then that will probably be your best option. Keep in mind that the models with 'X' are 720p panels and the U/UT models don't have AR filters.
Interested in this and looking at models on Panasonic website. What is the AR filter, and why is it important?
Plasmas are glass screens, so without an AR filter, they act like a big mirror if there is any ambient light in the room. They also restrict light output, so they make the appearance of black much deeper even in a dark room. This can have a negative effect on peak white. If the panel isn't capable of bright enough output (which is true for 2011 models), then it can also look dim in a moderately lit room.
I compared LCD and plasma side by side in the store before I bought mine and couldn't see much difference. I initially bought a Samsung plasma, but the motion was weird and it buzzed. I returned it and got an LCD and I much prefer it. You may have super eyes or may be able to convince yourself it's better because you spent the money, but to me, a regular guy with regular eyes (including contact lenses), the pictures look much the same.
My remote (Harmony One) works fine, no interference problems, no problems with the OEM remote either.
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Yeah the IR from the VT30 is still there but doesn't seem quite as disruptive as the Samsung LCD. I need to find a really good USB IR detector. It seems the Microsoft ones are particularly sensitive to IR interference.