ended up getting the 37" toshiba . lcd 720 for $799 plus tax. real nice picture on it even though he doesnt have hd channels thru his cable. he has to pay extra for hd channels and he is not willing to pay the extra .
I wouldn't give much thought to projected life. 60,000 hours is nearly 7 years of continuous use, always on. By the time you hit anywhere near 60,000 hours of actual use, the TV will be grossly outdated anyway.
We have a 46" Samsung LCD, it'* the best looking LCD on the market that I have seen, and I looked at a lot of them. You won't like the price of them though, they are quite expensive, but sometimes older models sell for cheaper. I seen 42" Sharp LCDs selling for $1300 USD, which are pretty good LCD panels.