The Rezga line of Toshiba LCDs are supposed to be pretty top-end
Sharp (aquos), Sony (bravia) , Samsung are also good (LG gets props from me too)
I haven't looked into Plasma that much, but if you can find yourself a Pioneer set they're really good.
I notice interlacing and the like a lot more on lcd screens than on crts, so it might just be something that will always be there. Some models list a response time, and if you start getting much over 8ms chances are that you'll notice ghosting (kinda like blending) in scenes with lots of action. 12ms might be alright, but you probably won't run into that too much in the price range you're looking.
best thing to do is to read reviews, newegg is a good place for that
32" bravia is doing good for me