Flat Chance

PRICES ON COOL TVS are dropping as new factories come on line. Is now the time to buy?

DOUG GALE, A 30-YEAR-OLD Dallas banker, returned from a vacation to Tokyo and Hong Kong in 2001 raving as much about TV sets as about ancient temples, towering skyscrapers and exotic food. A self-proclaimed tech geek, Gale scouted out electronics shops and was mesmerized by flat-screen TVs. Their monstrous sizes, sleek designs and flashy displays were perfect, he thought, for watching his favorite Dallas Stars charge down the ice. "I'd never seen anything like them," he says of the TVs. "They were just phenomenal. As soon as I got back to Dallas I was thinking, 'I got to get me one...