and how many horizontal scan lines it has (720/1080)
Basicly resolution the higher it is the smaller the pixels will be and the higher quality the picture is going to be
Contrast ratio. A higher number is gonna mean a brighter picture
and horizontal scan lines. basicly will remain the same as the rest. the higher the better. but price will reflect the change. might have to ask a sales associate or other expert on the matter for more info
Suggested brands: Samsung, and LG. I havent done alot of looking lately but i do know samsung is a top notch brand IMO atleast.
Best advice is go into town with a pen and pad pay attention to the tv's find a picture you like pay attention to wut the resolution is and other detals. record the price. then compare the same details to other brands. come home get online maybe on some computer/technology forums (techpowerup.com is a good site.might be able to answer some question) read reviews..find out wuts right for u.
Your on the right track in the first place by wanting an LCD. thats the only way to go now days. rear projection's go out in 1-3 yrs and require a $300 bulb to be replaced. and i hear plasma's go out in a year or 2 from similiar complications..
P.S check out newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, zipzoomfly.com
newegg i know for sure.. but check em out see wut u can find on there