With HDTV taking a larger and larger share of the market place, people are becoming more inclined to drop $2k+ on HDTVs, where a $500 CRT used to be. That said, its definitely worth the investment to get that jump in picture quality. I took that jump with the Sony KDF46E2000, a 46" rear projection lcd HDTV with 720p/1080i capabilities.
At first look, the design of the tv is very nice. It has a relatively unobtrusive bezel, with ports beneath the screen for the speakers. The speakers are decent, even with TruSurround technology, but a real home theatre would use a receiver and a proper audio set for a much fuller experience. The depth of the set is much less than an older projection set, but it is by no means a small customer. You will definitely need some room to put this tv somewhere comfy. It's footprint is quite large, so an appropriately sized stand would be perfect to keep it at the proper height. There is a small panel you press to have it open up under the screen, with appropriate power, volume and menu buttons. However, that's what the remote is for. Unfortunately. The remote is long and gaudy, and doesn't really fit your hand well, unless you have long fingers and a huge palm I suppose. The number buttons are far away from the normal channel and volume buttons, so moving between the two is a chore. If you could use a universal remote or one that comes with your cable/satellite receiver, do so.
The TV has a bunch of connections for whatever you're into. 2 HDMI, 3 Component (one of which is left side mounted, for easy access), 3 Composite, 1 S-Video with five analog audio inputs overall. There isn't a dedicated PC-in port, so you'd have to fiddle with HDMI or use S-Video. There's also one optical out to route to your receiver, which is what most of us will do. SDTV from cable looks decent, with the choice of pillarboxing, zoom, or wide zoom. Wide zoom is an efficient way of stretching the content without making everyone look like hobbits, and the scaling used by this set is decent. However, HDTV content is where this set shines. The colour and detail from this set is great, even through compressed HDTV from Rogers. DVDs look sharp even in 480p mode and the colours again, are magnificent. This set may only support up to 720p, but at this size, the difference between 1080p and 720p is almost negligible. At sizes 50"+, however, I would recommend going for the 1080p premium. This set does have an ATSC tuner, so you can receiver over the air HDTV provided you have an antenna, but you need a receiver of sorts to do it through coax or satellite.
In all, it is a cheaper entry point into HDTV and contains many of the things that bigger 'better' sets have. Despite the 720p limit, it provides an amazing image and won't hurt your eyes when it sits in the living room either. The KDF46E2000 can be found hovering around $1k these days and if you have the room, it would be a decent choice on a budget.