What is your price range? Panasonic makes a good bright display, but The higher end Samsungs typically don't have a HDMI issue. I have the Samsung "46 A650 - I paid roughly $1450 for it.
Thirded on the HDMI. I have had the Samsung LNT4665 for a few years and it is an older model with no Cablecard abilities I wish I had. Paid about $3k for the 1080P set which works great with FIOS STB HDMI, or the PCs DVI to HDMI cable as a computer monitor. My DualCore PC the other STB.
The TC-PxxV10 series adds better 24p handling for enhanced Blu-ray playback, but at a $500+ premium.
When in doubt, buy the bigger size. After a few weeks (or months), people often regret buying too small. Bigger is better when it comes to quality high-definition displays. If you're viewing from more than 6', buy a 50" or larger display. If you are viewing from 10' or more, buy at least 54-55" and 58-60" would be preferable. In the end, you'll save yourself money because you'll be less inclined to upgrade to a larger size in a few years.