By my calculations:
1280x1080 = 1,382,400 / 2 (interlaced) = 691200
1280x720 = 921,600 (+33.3%)
Yes I know compression makes these numbers not very accurate but the same compression affects both and it seems to me that 720p is clearly superior.
About seventy-zillion (ok that's an exaggeration) time in various threads several folks, including myself, have tried to explain the above erroneously incorrect type of information.... so I can't bring myself to do it all over again.
But I will take the opportunity to say no... 1080i is superior resolution of image to 720p, period. And even a scaled down 1280x1080 instead of native 1920x1080 contains more resolution than a 1280x720 picture.
No arguments, just facts. All the strange math and wrong assumptions that folks keep jumping on are making my head hurt.