Gary, here's just another little anecdote, for what it's worth: We didn't have ANY kind of hi-def TV until just a few years ago. We bought right when the 3D TV's had been out for a bit, and the curved screens had just come out and were all the rage. We bought a "plain old" 55" Panasonic LED hi-def from Costco. It wasn't top of the line by any stretch. But we have never looked back. Prior to getting it, I was just itching to get a new TV. I could see a HUGE difference between what we had and what was out there. But since getting it, I haven't had even the slightest inkling to replace it and upgrade. Yeah, I can see differences between what we have now and some of the top of the line stuff. But the difference is relatively insignificant, and I wouldn't really notice unless I was consciously trying to. I guess where I'm trying to get to is that I wouldn't worry about spending $1500 on something more "high end." You should be able to find something nice in that range. As was already said, I cannot recommend Costco enough simply because you will get a good product and they will stand behind it if something goes wrong. You WILL need to do something about the sound, but that can wait until you can save a bit more and know what you want. Not to mention the fact that your wife will fall in love with the picture on the new set, but will hate the sound, and that will eventually boil over and she will practically BEG you to do something about it. If you go over budget now, she will be mad. But if you let her make you buy a sound system later on, everybody wins.