1080p and HDTV Resolution Explained
ecoustics has a great article covering everything you wanted to know about HDTV resolutions. Its a great primer before you go out TV shopping. The center point of the article discusses whether or not you actually need 1080p capable HDTV. Given the lack of content, and the marginal improvement (too most people's eyes) over 1080i, I am sure most people wouldn't know the difference. However, given the price drops and the fact that it makes the perfect media center desktop I would highly recommend getting one :).
From the article:
Despite these improvements, however, the real-world benefits of 1080p aren't
quite as clear-cut as they may first appear. The main problem is that there is
virtually no content that's widely available in 1080p format (other than the
output from some PCs, which would require using these TVs as really big computer
monitors). As a result, there is currently little that can take advantage of
these advancements in screen resolution. In the case of broadcast TV, there is
no standard for broadcasting signals in 1080p. High-definition DVDs have been
discussed as a possible source for 1080p content, but given the format battle
between the HD-DVD and Blu-ray camps (two competing standards–think VHS vs.
Beta), there are now serious doubts about how soon regular DVDs (which have just
480p resolution) will be replaced. Plus, not all high definition DVD
players–whenever they do appear–will even offer 1080p-capable outputs.
Ironically, the only significant source of 1080p material that's expected by
2006 will be the forthcoming PS3 gaming console system from Sony.