honestly, i'd avoid both - pioneer (especially the pioneer elite line) makes the best rptv's on the market. period.
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I have to agree with both of the other respondents. Pioneer Elite is the Premier Rear Projection TV (RPT) manufacturer, and Mitsubishi is the next best. (I have the Mitsubishi 46" Table Top myself, as it was about 1/3 less than the Pioneer Elite). The regular pioneer line is almost as good as the Mitsubishi.
Note, that the 46" Mitsubishi is discontinued, although they now have both a 42" table top, and a free standing 48" RPT.
As you can see opinions on TV`s differ, just like on every piece of equipment, whether its speakers or CD player.It`s just like with cars , there are BMW croud and Audi people and every group will try to convince you that their cars are the best and they all will be right , it`s hard to argue , because both makes are great. It`s just a matter of personal taste( I, myself, is an audi fan, LOL). And everyone has a point, the best way is to go to the dealers and take a look for yourself. Of course Pioneer elite series are great, but they cost a lot more than you are willing to spend.I`d go with Sony , great picture, high def, and it`s only $1600.00.Just my few words.Good luck choosing YOUR TV.
My advice is to do your research on everything out there, go with the company that has the best after sale service. Make sure their is more than one service center in your area should you need it for that brand, they do not fix these big TVs in your living room, they take with-$$$ and may have it for some time. Go to avsforum.com and read about any and all problems, lots of info. on this site. Good luck.
I would never buy another Sony. For one thing, their service is horrible. And just try and find a local person to work on a Sony is near impossible. My 46" is only 7 years old and just died about 1 month ago. I am going to be in the market for a new RPTV very soon. Right now I am having to suffer with my FPTV on a 100" screen for everyday viewing. When I make my purchase I will not even condider a Sony.
I have to second Scottht's opinion. Sonys have exceptional pictures. There may be none better. But, if you have problems, as I had with the sound, you're screwed. I was fortunate to have a Sony technician available in LA. But after three service calls and two new audio boards the problem still exists. I've had two other Sony TV's conk out after less than four years...one with a tube problem and another with a sound issue. I'll think long and hard before purchasing another Sony TV.