I'm partial to Sony's. Been using them 3... forever and they last forever which is unfortunate given technology these days. I suggest going to for the top o the line Sony though. Each lower grade takes away something that impacts the picture quality.
I've got a 40" and can't imagine a 46" being any better. BTW size is chosen base on viewing distance from the tube. 40" is just right for 8-12 feet (<8'=32, >12'=46. I'm sitting at my desk 15' away and 40" is plenty big enough. My son has a 46" at 8' and I feel like I'm in the front row of an imax.
FYI Sony now owns Samsung. If compare styling, they look almost identical. Sams sell for a little less but very close to Sony quality, maybe a notch lower. Almost went Samsung for my sister in laws replacement, but got cold feet. I didn't want her bitchen if she saw some minor difference in quality.
Neither will suck out as much electricity as the Achquos.
LED quality just isn't there yet. I know you want to be ecoPC, but I just haven't seen LED quality that matches the LCD yet.
If you're into movies and $8 month then go internet compatible. You hang a wireless receiver on the tube for signal reception so no hard wire is necessary.
( How's life at UNC been?)