i heard mixed reviews bout plasma in terms of once the gas or w.e runs out it costs more to replace it then buying a brand new tv
Plasma Buying GuideLCD Buying Guide
4 - you should be able to get a decent deal at FS or BB in November once the new models are cycled in for Xmas.
2K is a decent budget for a TV, but a lot depends on your room config, viewing angle, and the lighting, which is most important.
I personally like plasmas for the rich colour and think the picture is significantly better when it comes to gaming and sports.
Right now you can get great deals on the Panasonic Plasmas or Samsung LCD's.
Pioneer is higher end and IMO not necessarily worth it. I have the pioneer 42" plasma, and I should have got the 50" panasonic...live and learn.