I had this issue once. 9 years ago, my 32" tube went on the fritz, and I had a repair man visit. He said he could fix it, but asked if I really wanted to invest or buy my first HDTV.
I said the same things you did .. who will take this? Craigslist, maybe for free? He said "I'll take it." Great, off you go.
My wife came home and asked where the TV was. "It's at Best Buy, in a box waiting for us to buy it."
As for your issue .. it's hard to find places that accept eWaste. Our community does host a recycling day in April, and we end up with dozens of old TV sets.