All of the top-line 2010 buzz in television land may be about 3D, but until those sets arrive later this year, LED backlit flat panels remain the technology to watch, since these models deliver mouth-watering picture quality. As long-time plasma fans the tech still remains our benchmark we ve marveled at the way backlit LED LCD HDTVs have closed the quality gap with plasma over the past 18 months. Finally, we re seeing LCD HDTVs with deep blacks and excellent contrast. Our main squawk with LED is cost, however, since typically these sets are far more expensive than similarly-sized plasma flat panels. Happily, now Vizio has entered the scene to shrink the dollar gap. Vizio came out of nowhere to be the number-two TV seller in the U.S. by offering decent sets at good prices. And following on this success, the manufacturer is moving from low-priced 37-inchers to loaded displays that compete with the best from Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony. Let s see if these upstarts can match up with the big boys.