cruel to plasma, we've stood by the "old" gas capsule technology. The results of DisplayMate's controlled tests clearly show some of the reasons why we love us some plasma. The lineup of 2008-vintage, top of the line LCDs from Samsung, Sharp and Sony were calibrated and pitted against a top-end Pansonic plasma. You'll have to hit the link to get the full blow-by-blow results, but suffice it to say that the plasma set trumped the LCDs in the areas of contrast, color accuracy (to be fair, the Sony came close) and black level -- both on and off axis. Even for LCD fans, these results show that the side of the box with its inflated specs is no place to look for indications of picture quality. For those already in the know about plasma, though, there's a lot of reason to hope that even if the technology is in its autumn years, there's an Indian summer up ahead.