Dear Plasma TV Gurus... I'm in a purchasing (and marketing) quandry due to a possible sceince & technology vs. performance & perception conflict. I'm an engineer by background, but with an avid interest in marketing, and I'm on the verge of a 50" plasma purchase. From little research it seems clear that the Pioneer range consistently receive accolades and rave reviews from the "media", and this is supported by plenty of credible and differentiating techno-speak at the Poineer home page, (Pure Drive, deep-set phosphor etc) i.e. there does seem to be significant science and technology behind the reported performance of Pioneer plasma products. Pioneer also sell at the highest price point, and this is also consistent with the market leading product. However, upon closer inspection, there seems to be some apparent shortcomings in the specification of Pioneer plasma's, that don't fully support their market-leader/top-performer position, and I wondered if anybody out there could explain whether the parameters in question actually make a difference to picture quality. I'm talking about contrast and luminosity. I'm looking at the PDP507XD and the specs quote: contrast 4000:1 luminosity: 1100 cd/m2 This is arguably the top performing 50" on the market(?), and (apart from the fullHD version), is possibly the most expensive, at 4500 euros (in France) And yet, the following brands offer higher 50" specs at a much lower price: Philips contrast: 10,000:1 luminosity: 1500 cd/m2 price: 3400 euros LG contrast 10,000:1 luminosity: 1000 cd/m2 price: 3000 euros Samsung contrast 10,000:1 luminosity: 1300 cd/m2 price: 2700 euros I'm open to the possibility that contrast and luminosity are either not the primary drivers behind picture quality, and/or other factors are just as important (such as resolution), but all of the FAQ-type guides, plus a bit of common sense tells me that these two parameters are key technology enablers behind picture performance. Can anyone please explain this apparent discrepancy between technology specs and perceived performance i.e. cheaper, less popular models appear to have vastly superior specifications (for contrast and luminosity at least). Is this good marketing on the part of Pioneer and their media partners (if so, I'm ok with that), or am I missing something technical (which is also a distinct possibility)? Many Thanks, Ken.