The situation has changed somewhat in recent times but buying a TV with integrated ON/ITVDigitalFreeview facilities, compared to the standard TV version, was always far more expensive than buying a separate set top box.
There is some confusion over Freeview. It is not a digital service as such (unless you have a digital TV or a PCI digital TV card) except in the case of Nicam which is already digital.
The signals are transmitted digitally to cram more channels on a given bandwidth - the Freeview set top box (or ON/ITVDigital box) then converts the picture/video signal back to analogue, otherwise you wouldn't be able to watch the programmes.
Saying Freeview is not a digtal service because it is converted to analogue before before viewing is like saying SKY isn't digital or a CD isn't digital because it is converted to analogue before you listen to it!
I never said it wasn't a digital service, only that people are often mislead with regard to the end product.
To see genuine digital TV images you have to have a digital television or computer system TV card - I have both an ON/ITVDigital/Freeview set top box and the PCI card equivalent. The monitor display from the card is stunning.
To contribute to this debate, i have just bought a Panasonic 28inch IDTV and it is superb (TX28DTX10C £449 including 5 year guarantee and free delivery from John Lewis)
I held off buying before this because using the postcode checker on the freeview website, I was informed it was impossible to receive in my area even with an upgraded aerial! However once I took the plunge and bought the TV and set it up it picked up all the freeview channels at maximum signal strength! I have since been informed that the freeview postcode checker is sponsored by sky and they do this to discourage people getting freeview instead of paying for their service!
Same here - I waited for ages to get Freeview, going by the official Freeview postcode checker I still shouldn't be able to get it. Eventually I found this website click here which not only tells you if you can get it, but which transmitter you should point your aerial towards.