Gruntersdad, you are absolutely right. If you have cable from any provider, no box ix necessary and you do NOT need an HDTV. Furthermore, the transition only effects those using rabbit ears to get their pictures.
Eddie, this is not ENTIRELY true. Here's why. With the digital realm of cables, you need to look at the bandwidth, which is usually measured in Gbps, or gigabites per second. To carry a 720P resolution with good color saturation, a cable needs to handle about 4 GBPS. Any HDMI cable on the market can do that. However, in order to handle 1080P, the cable needs to have a bandwidth of about 7GBPS. Most cables in the 40 - 70 USD price range are capable of this. For a TV that does 1080P and 120hz motion reproduction, you need at least 10Gbps speed. Only higher end cables from monster and a few store brands can do that.
A great HDMI cable for a reasonable price is the Rocketfish line from Best Buy. A 4f cable that can handle 1080P and the 120hz feature goes for around 60 USD. The equal from Monster is 130 USD. I am using rocketfish on my whole setup and it looks and sounds great.
Muckster, in 42" or 40" range, you should check out these models.
These are all fantastic models that will give you great picture quality from reliable brands. I especially like the 42" panasonic plasma and the samsung LN40a630.
Please let me know if you have any more questions guys!!!