I think a part of the problem starts at the stores such as Magnolia/ BB/CC and the like,in that have a higher resolution feed than we have at home. Not to mention some sets are just set better-- in their menu's--Which is why colors differ set to set,in the stores. So, you get your set home and there is some letdown.---(In that their feed has a higher bit rate/less compressed.)
CRT's do black better than any other tech,so having one in the same room, or having that, as your last tv, don't help much.
A scaler in the right hands could help,I would guess; --- much like a calibration WILL help.
I read LCD's have come a long way;but they were starting from the botton rung,re. blacks.
In TPV,set after set,-- that they review/.i.e. plasmas/lcd's ALWAYS score low for black level,some score low for color accuracy and the like.
Also, factor in that HD SHOULD look better;it's why we buy the sets.
At least there is now an equalizer.--- HD-DVD or BlueRay. Now PQ at the store should be =,if we have one of those players at home(Or buy one).