I call 'No Fair'.
OK, so there they are. Right in front.
All the bighugegorgeousbrightshinynew flat screen TVs right there in the front of Sam's Club just calling to you, singing to you, pleading with you to pull the trigger with that stimulus check and call that buddy with a pickup truck to come help you bring home your new purchase. The once proud and famous 'free-food-sampler' ladies in the back have never been so lonely.
I've been picturing the day when my Dish HD-DVR and new TV will be sitting in my living room but when, OH WHEN, may that day come? Problem is, I'm quite sure there are more important things to do with that money than buy a new bighugegorgeousbrightshinynew flat screen TV, which makes my standing there staring at those behemoths of entertainment output strictly a guilty pleasure... for now.
I've done some research (as I'm quite prone to), and am inclined to limit myself to a slightly smaller than recommended, but higher-quality set of parameters. Instead of the intentionally-way-too-easy-to-remember rule of 1:4 for sizing your new purchase (and briskly shoving budgetary talk aside) I've reduced that formula to more easily accomodate my budget.
For those who may not have heard this masterpiece of sales science, the 1:4 ratio is simply a way to approximately size your new TV for the room it's to be viewed in. For every 1' of distance from the screen that the viewers will be seated, 4" of TV (diagonal screen size). In the example of a room that people will be seated 10' away from the screen, a 40" TV would be the minimal size 'necessary'.
In the case of my living room, I would normally be about 12' away from the screen, meaning that I 'need' to buy a 48" TV at a minimum. HAH! I consider it budget-wise to buy, say something in the 37" range and spend a pittance of the difference on bean-bag chairs and situate myself 4' closer on the floor. Then it will look enormous.
Still, time marches on and I have to be content with knowing that every day is a day closer to HD and flat screen entertainment nirvana. Until then, I'll just have to itch some more. Right now, I'm off to pay the bills. Calamine to that itch perhaps.
Here's a place for good basic LCD TV info: