Pros: Rich feature set price Very nice brushed metal finish, not cheap plastic
Cons: Poor documentation 1 stuck pixel less than intuitive on screen menus (they mispelled contrast, "contarst")
Just picked this up at a local Sam's after I noticed a price drop to $2299. Let me tell you that picking it up and installing it will most definately be a two man job. This thing is really heavy. I'll be really honest, I am NOT very particular about picture quality. My perspective comes from comparing it to my 21 year old Hitachi 50' projection TV that my children destroyed with a golf ball. Having said that, I can't overstate how great it really is, just an incredible picture even when compared to top of the line names. I don't think that Akai actually manufacture anything, from what I understand it is more of a marketing company. I have read that some folks had complained about this and other 50' plasmas that have very loud cooling fans. This one is absolutely whisper quiet, and has turned out to be a total non issue.
I first saw a Plasma on display about 5 years ago, on sale for about $10,000. It's amazing how far the prices have come down since. But more importantly, I've watched this particular model drop from $3400 to $2300 in less than 6 months. So when to buy? Who knows, If I wait another 6 months it will probably be even cheaper.
Sam's Club offers relatively good service in the event that there are warranty issues. They usually take returns no questions asked. Also, they offer an extended warranty for three years at a cost of $198. Great deal there that you cannot get at other retailers.