LCD Flat screen tv's

Can I ask the forum what LCD flat screen tv's they have been buying? My budget is only in the $700.00 area for either a 26", 27", or 32" LCD flat sceen. I like the picture from Sharp, Phillips, and Sony. Not crazy about some of these unknown or low end brands such as Olevia, Insignia, Emerson, Polaroid, and even RCA. It's amazing to stand in front of a number of these LCD TV's all on the same channel and yet their picture qualities vary greatly. What should I be looking for in terms of specs, etc? Thanks.
(Not crazy about some of these unknown or low end brands)

Just what do you think 700.00 is going to buy you??
Best Buy has some good deals on 720p Sony's. They aren't the latest, but they have a 32" with the Bravia Engine for $1,399. I have one in the bedroom that I bought last year. It cost me $2,600.
You cant judge a picture in a store, the floor help (if thats what you want to call them) dont pay close attention to properly setting up all models and may infact show models they really want to sell in the best way they can.
When shopping see if you can grab a remote or some models you can do this from the front panel and if you have a nack for understanding set-up menu's within a few minutes you could do some adjustments on a model you are thinking of buying and know what its piture is truely capable of. I also agree at $700 you shouldnt be too optimistic on getting anything of great quality.
To my eyes the Sony and Panosonic LCDs were the best looking ones at about 26" or 32". You should be able to do 26" for your budget. Samsung and Toshiba came next. After that I wouldn't bother. I'd save my money.
I bought a Sylvania 27" TV from for 499.00 shipped a couple of months ago and I like it as well as most of the more expensive models I looked at. LCD TVs aren't great yet but tolerable. But, it looks amazingly good on high quality sources.
Tough call. The "unknown" brands can perform pretty well, but a lot depends on set up, etc. I think you might explore a Sony CRT, if you can find one in your preferred screen size; the last model Sony put out with the old technology got pretty good reviews. I bought a Sony LCD 40 inch and have been happy, although I paid more than your figure. Good luck.
I have a Viewsonic 27" LCD TV that I bought because I saw one at around $500 and I'd had very good experience over the years buying their computer monitors for my departments at work. I think it's really good right out of the box, as good as anything from other brands I'd seen in the stores, and my experience with the reliability of their other products makes me think it will last awhile.
The Olevia is highly recommended by Consumers Reports. Olevis in owned by Syntax-Brillant which is a parent company of Vivitar. Several of my colleagues have owned Olevias for 2 trouble-free years and several months ago I picked up a 37" LCD at Office Depot for $900. which subsequently went on sale for $750.
Before buying I compared it to several brand name LDC TVs and the only ones which exceeded its picture quality were the higher-priced Sonys. I am very happy with the Olevis
Olevis is a great bargain and definitely not a "low-end brand". Just relatively unknown. Do yourself a big favor and look at one at Office Depot, althoough their viewing conditions are certainly less than ideal.
I haven't shopped in that range, so I can't really comment on specifics. It's hard to go wrong with a Sony.

My one piece of advice, regardless of size or TV type, is to ask to see it with a "regular" source - ie, a normal cable or satellite feed of a channel you watch regularly. Unless this is just for DVDs and HDTV, you will spend a lot of time with regular definition TV, and that is typically a place where the difference between a cheap TV and a more expensive TV shows up. They all look pretty darn good with a high-def source.
Another option, if you're using cable or satelite as source, would be to buy a monitor vs. TV with internal tuner. I purchased a new "A" stock 32" Toshiba monitor on Ebay for my daughter for Xmas for $619. including freight. Why pay for an internal TV tuner if you'll never use it?
If your TV doesn't have an internal tuner, and your cable/satellite goes out, your up the creek. Then what? you may have to take your eyes of the idiot box and talk to someone instead of gazing into that infernal box. Or better yet, turn on your two channel stereo and listen to some music!

Just kidding.
Thanks everyone. These are some excellent suggestions and input. Just what I was looking for all except from Btstrg whose reply was entirely useless and uncecessary. This forum doesn't need members like this. If you have nothing constructive to add, get off the forum. He must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed that day.
Actually Northwoods, this is something to consider. So what you're saying is that I can use my cable TV box as my tuner and my A-V surround sound receiver for audio. Is that what you're doing?
You should change your attitude about the other brands. For your budget Olevia is a great buy. I personally own the 537 model which is used as both a computer monitor and television. Its ability to serve both masters is better than the sony's and toshibas.
Thanks. I didn't know about Olevia but that's what this forum is for. Attitude changed !! Actually I saw one in a store today and it seemed to be bright, sharp, and colorful.
You're right, this is a great forum to educate and be educated. Good luck in your search.
Thanks Mig007. This is a great forum if we all use it primarily as educational to help each other out with our own experiences and knowledge. I've learned a great deal already from the folks on this forum. In this example of LCD flat screen TV's, I needed some help and got it. I just don't know enough about this topic but am learning. Audio is my first love and will always be. Video takes 2nd fiddle.