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This usually depends on the viewing habits, viewing environment, and personal vision qualities of the individual:
I usually like to start trying to recommend a plasma, unless there are reasons to go LCD (like below) but that's just me:
If the set is to be watched during the day, in a room with lots of ambient light and glare, then go LCD.
If the set is going to play a lot of content with static images, such as HUDs from games (you've already said no gaming) or tickers like on news networks, or sports scores during games, you may want to consider LCD.
That being said, the makers of the good plasmas have all ticked me off with recently... and LCD is constantly improving, so it may soon become my de facto standard except if the viewer is particularly sensitive to motion artifacts such as judder.
The rest of your questions, it's generally better to educate you on what each one means and let you decide which is more important for you than to tell you what to go for.
Higher refresh rates are supposed to improve motion artifacts like judder. Supposed to. some like the effect they give, some feel it makes film look like video, some feel that's ok, some don't. It's generally called the Soap Opera Effect. It bothers me. But on these sets, there's usually a way to turn down how much "correction" is added, so you can play with it after the purchase and see where you like it best.
Contrast ratios are often quoted at full on to full off, which means very little in terms of how the set performs with real world material. In general, higher real world contrast can improve picture quality, but how much depends on a lot of factors. If the differences are small, I think absolute black level is more important.

Size of the screen will depend on viewing distance, as well as decor.

I hope this helps and that I haven't asked more questions than I've answered.
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