Pros Pioneer reputation, picture quality, aesthetics.
Cons Don't have an opinion yet.
Summary I've been waiting for prices to come down on plasmas for a year. Researched and read reviews from more sites than I can count. By this past June, I narrowed the choices to Pioneer and Panasonic (due to CNET ratings). I was leaning toward Pioneer due to reputation, picture quality and aesthetics, but had a tough time justifying the additional $1000 or so.
Reading CNET reviews of last year's PDP-5060HD model, three people recommended Coza Inc., Leo Cortez in particular. Coza Inc. is a Pioneer AUTHORIZED internet dealer, which is critical because Pioneer will not honor warranty if purchased from non-authorized dealers. I called and spoke with Leo, who is one of the BEST people I've ever dealt with in making any large purchase. As other reviewers also noted, he is extremely knowledgeable and laid-back. . . the first time I ever spoke with a plasma salesperson who knew more than I did and gave me very helpful practical advice. He never tried to "sell" me on anything. In fact, because of his advice, I did not get unnecessary pricey accessories (e.g. power conditioners at $300 - $400). He's also answers every question very patiently and in terms a layman can understand.
Moving on beyond being a charter member of the Leo Cortez at Coza Inc. fan club, he told me that the PDP-5070HD model was shipping, and their price is $3,264 plus $165 for shipping. This price is by far the lowest from an AUTHORIZED internet dealer. My issue with Pioneer's higher price tag just disappeared.
I made the order and received it within 3 business days. No problems, no hassles. Set it up, turned it on and was stunned at the picture quality right out of the box without any adjustments. Since I've only had the tv for 2 days now, I haven't had a chance to check out all the features and options, so I'll post later.
I did have to call Pioneer Customer Support (info on their website) for what I thought was a problem. Waited only 8 minutes (which is short in this day and age), and their service rep was very helpful and knowledgeable. He answered my questions in plain english, and as it turned out, my problem wasn't even a problem.
Bottom-line: Get the Pioneer for their reputation (for both the product and customer support), picture quality, and now, price competitiveness!Updated
Still no substantive complaints after having the plasma for a month. Pioneer Support advised me to keep the picture setting on "Standard" (vs. "Dynamic") for the first 3 months or so of viewing. This will further reduce the already minimal chance of image burn-in. The Dynamic setting gives you a more vibrant picture, and so you'll probably want to set it there after 3 months.
Pros Awesome picture quality, sleek looking, many inputs
Cons Hard to reach inputs when mounted on wall, limited PIP functionality
Summary Good match for the Omnimount U3TILT wall mount, however once on the wall it is hard to access the inputs. It takes two people to tilt it back enough so that the inputs can be felt. The picture-in-picutre functionality isn't the best - there is no audio swap, and you can't resize one source in relation to the other.
Pros 1)Looks great, on or off. 2) Color saturation. 3)Shadow detail. 4) Tweakability, especially the capability to stretch/fill screen in all source modes.
Cons Tuner may be weak; I can't compare as I must use Comcast, but PQ is actually better on SD when processed thru cable box as opposed to cable direct (bypassing box) to the tuner.
Summary My second Pio plasma, 1st was the Costco 4303/4314.
Loved the Pio colors but the lack of black level/shadow detail was not great in the 4303.
Just gave my 50" Panny 50x (last years model) to my daughter. The 5070 is great for my viewing, HD Football/Sports, network and cable HD, some DVD's. Black levels/shadow detail much improved, but it's the color processing that really "wows" me.
Example: On the Panny, the Minn. Vikings colors looked blue; on the Pio they are "PURPLE".
I performed basic calibration on both using Avia/DVE and INHD's tune up.
I do not like viewing in a totally dark room, thus the brightness of the Pio is better for my HD sports etc.
If your prime viewing is movies/dark sceens, while viewing in a dark room, the Panny 9UK might better serve your needs.
Someone wrote that the Panny 9UK is "friendly" to watch, gives you great PQ and does not command your attention to the set itself.
The Pio 5070 is kind of like the "king", which expects and commands your attention to both the set and the picture.
Both are great plasma's at reasonable prices; the Pio just better suits my viewing needs.Updated
Mr. K's "User Settings" really help the PQ.
Not sure if these are pre or post calibration but they are good enough for me and may have saved me $300+ on a grayscale calibration.
Pros exceptional clarity, ease of use, realistic but vibrant colors, great black level, surprisingly great speaker
Cons none at all
Summary Spent hours researching, made my decision which was to go for the 505CMX monitor (although this model was in the back of my mind) but after speaking w/ Kevin at BeyondPlasma.com I decided to purchase this one. Best purchase that I have ever made. Funny thing is that when I look around at the technology I love (and I always do a ton of research) it is always a Pioneer piece. This plasma exceeds all my expectations. Lot's of connectivity, easy to set up, and beyond gorgeous. Piano finish is beautiful. Have the first YSP speaker with my other set up and just bought the YSP 800 to try with this. Not even sure I'll use it as the one that comes with it (detachable) is actually quite decent.
Pros Good picture and looks
Cons Dead Pixels are OK by Pioneer--up to 10 before a claim will be accepted.
Summary Out of the box my Pioneer PDP-5070HD had a dead pixel right in the center of the screen. After paying more money for their presumed quality it was dissapointing to see a black spot right in the center. Pioneer's reponse: they go by industry standard of 10 dead pixels before moving forward--claim denied. I understand that Samsung, on the other hand, has a zero dead pixel policy--although I can't confirm. All of this, of course, was learned after the fact.