What screen to buy with $1500?????

Hi: I have a small room, completely dark and no more than 2 people will watch DVDs in there form 10' away, thus fully centered. I have US$1500 to spend (new). Is it better to buy a small 20-24" LCD or Plasma, a 34-36" regular wide-screen CRT (Sony Wega) or a 40" rear projection CRT? what make or model? I will use component cabling from a McCormack UDP-1.

CRT will provide you with the best picture, hands down. It depends on whether you can deal with the space required for the tube and the weight of the set. If you can handle these aspects, the tube TV will give you the best results. No one flat panel display can give you the black levels, contrast, color definition and brightness of a tube.
I have a similar situation as you, and I bouht the Sony wega XBR Trinitron (wide) and we LOVE it!
Thanks. One more question: does the "mass" that corresponds to the CRT TV create any "damage" to the soundstage, in 2ch audio or even in 5.1? do I have to have my front speakers postionned so they create a front line before the TV screen?
Some say for critical listening, to cover the front of the screen with a blanket...but by no means should that detail keep you from wanting the best picture you can acheive!

P.s. I never cover my TV, I do get some reflections, but it doesnt bother me.
Take look at the Sony XBR960 34" wide screen. I've had mine for a couple months and the pic is gorgeous. It is a "Super Fine Pitch" set that makes all the analog cable stuff not only watchable, but very impressive. And DVD's are to die for. The Masters in HDTV made me cry.....hehehe.

However the set's depth (24") does remove a bit of the sound stage depth of my Martin Logan Aeriusi fronts. I can't move them forward since they are dipoles and need back wall reinforcement. But movie dialogue is married to the screen beautifully. I don't use a center channel speaker and you shouldn't either in the room you described. Turn the TV's speakers off and enjoy the show.
the XBR WEGA have an edge unmatched by regular WEGA models, the 30 inch wide is about $1400 now, down from $2000 when first introduced.
For a completely darkened room at 10 foot seating distance and for DVD watching I would do a front projection system. You could do it all, including a Da-lite "High Power" 80inch wide (92" diag) pull down screen for under $1500 total. Who wants a small rinky dink 42 inch or smaller display for HT?? I get all the colors and black levels I need with my Optoma DLP projector. And I was a CRT hold out! YMMV. I had a Toshiba tube for awhile that bested most Sony Wegas for colors and black levels. Yeah, the optoma is *nearly* that good. It's almost like spliting hairs, so I was sold. Though I wouldn't just consider _any_ digital projector (DLP or not). For me the Optoma was a special unit. I know everyone on audiogon tends to trumpet what works for them, it's just the nature of emthusiasts, I guess. YMMV.

Front projection is the way to go! I sell systems like this and they are certainly more impressive than what you could get with a direct view display for the same price.
I would go with front projection, but raise the budget a bit. Big improvements can be had if you increase your budget by another $1000 or so for a better projector and a screen. Otherwise, you can't even be close to beating a tube CRT for the price. But it might affect your 2ch performance and 10' is quite far away.
front projection all the way. don't waste your time and money on a tube. invest a little more and you'll be the happiest guy in town!!!! you'll never go back once you experience front projection.