You want a chic and stylish HDTV that will make your friends and family drool. Get a flat-panel, direct-view HDTV (patent pending).
Flat-panel TVs are the rage these days. They have been available only in LCD and plasma HDTVs costing thousands of dollars. Direct-view or tube HDTVs outperform LCDs and plasmas on quality (see CNET's guide to TV types), and they cost hundreds, not thousands of dollars.
How thin are the new flat-panel, direct-view HDTVs? As thin as you want. Go wild, go negative (Recessed-Panel TVs)!
One drawback of flat-panel, direct-view HDTVs is that they are available only as wall units. They are not table-top units. The cost of installation will vary and may require structural changes (think "built in").
Before you buy an HDTV, see this cautionary tale on engadgetHD.com. Before you decide, it pays to do your homework.
If you decide to go the flat-panel, direct-view HDTV route, remember that I came up with the idea. Send me $25, and we'll call it even. Add it to your budget for the installation.
Happy New Year!