I'm new to the world of home theater. We have been using an old Sony 27" CRT for 8 years now but decided to upgrade to a bigger screen. By story begins a few days ago when we saw a 37" Panasonic Plasma EDTV in our price range. It was a floor model for $1400 so we grabbed it. Upon getting home I found they charged us for a 37" TV but gave us a Panasonic 42" worth $2500. Problem is that the floor model had screen burn & since my receipt didn't match the model number I had no warrantee to boot. But the picture was real nice. So we returned it and we bought a 42" SVA Plasma EDTV for $2000. They display model they had at the store wasn't hooked up so we couldn't view it (shame on me). It was NIB with extended warrantee. Got it home, hooked it up and the picture was terrible. The transition from color to color was stepped, like a paint by number compared to the old Panasonic. Not happy with it at all. So I plan to take it back too. I noticed that the contrast ratio of the SVA was 700:1 and the Panasonic had 4000:1. I think that is what caused the difference?? So now I am stuck looking for a bigger than 27" TV and am spoiled with the quality of the Panasonic Plasma we bought initially. $2000 was a bit out of our price range so simply ponying up an additional $500 for a new Panasonic (like we first bought) is out of the question. So I started looking at other options. Projection is out of the question due to the poor viewing angle. DLP is too much and apparently so is Plasma for a decent picture. So now I'm looking at a HDTV CRT around 34-36". I noticed Sony sells a widescreen 36" HD CRT in its WEGA line for about $1500. Granted the screen size is short of 42" but compared to our old 27" is a big difference. I have no issue with the size or weight of a CRT. My biggest question however is how a HD CRT stacks up against an EDTV Plasma. Will it be superior to the 4000:1 contrast ratio EDTV Panasonic or fall short?? How do I compare the two??