Best TV to Buy?

Unfortunately the markets obsession with ever thinner TV screens has rendered the sound quality achievable from TV speakers to the poor level you describe - you need to have a depth of about 2/ 3" to design a good sounding loudspeaker drive unit. I felt exactly the same as you when I bought my latest Samsung TV - I didn't want to spend too much and demo'd most of the contenders and found the Yamaha YSP2500 offered a big step up in sound quality but also was quite discrete in looks.