I have owned a Panasonic Viera Plasma HDTV for only 6 months when the picture went dark and required servicing. I live in a metro Pittsburgh and learned that the closest service was nearly a 1 hour drive away.
When I talked to Panasonic, I was told that they were sorry for the inconvenience and offered no other options. When I contacted them through the web, they sent me emails telling me to call the same customer service center that I had talked to the prior day. Now, I could understand if I lived in rural Alaska and needed service. I would expect to require a bush plane to obtain service.
But, really? No service providers in a metro area?
If I knew that I would have to drive to Timbuktu on $4/gallon gasoline, I would have purchased an HDTV from one of their competitors. Sadly, it probably wouldn't require service after only 6 months either.