Sound quality on flat screens is always a compromise, our CRT RP had far better sound than any flatscreen any direct view CRT TV.
My Sharp 42" XD1 is ok but I doubt it'll fill living room with clear sound , but not a patch on the RP. I wouldn't put sound quality in the list of factors that sway you into a flatscreen TV. Personally I would prefer "monitors" without speakers.
Do you live in a closet? Sat speakers are tiny, you won't have cables everywhere- just use tie wraps and push them behind the TV, you could just buy 2.1 speaker set so you won't have any trailing around the room.
Sound from TV's especially flatscreen is generally lousy- to the point I don't think they should be included, even our Toshiba 32" CRT TV Pro-Logic was poor compared to speakers around Kef Eggs/MA Radius 90.
It just depends on what you class as acceptable. My brother would happily rip out the speakers from his Samsung 32" LCD, they're that bad!
I have a Sony 26" TV (KDL-26T3000) in my spare room and the sound is not too bad. However, I have connected a pair of Bose Companion 2 speakers (about £90) and they sound great together with the TV speakers for watching movies. A very compact solution.