After a few years with my 6500 I am forced to buy a new projector (probably the 5030). The reason is not that I am dissatisfied with the unit, it is because it, along with a bunch of other stuff, was blown by a huge lightning strike that hit my next door neighbor's antenna mast. It felt like a plane had crashed! The lamp still works but the projector is unable to send signals to the screen from either HDMI port or the component connections. I hooked it up through my Yamaha A/V receiver and I never had anything but a great picture so this really breaks my heart.
I had all my equipment on surge and battery units but nothing could have survived this burst. Besides the 6500, my Yamaha receiver was fried, DISHTV dvr and cable set top box are toast, two phone lines and a sprinkler system control box were also blown. The cable company had to replace not only the box but the outdoor power junction (the strike blew the cover completely off the box!) and the switch in the garage. Several of my neighbors had similar damage.
So now the work begins in figuring out what to get and where to buy it. First thing this morning I am driving to my insurance agent and have a sit down. I have a high deductible but this is still going to be an expensive deal for them of several thousand dollars so they better be prepared to pay. I'm not sure how this all works as this will be my first equipment claim.
Incidentally, if I get another model projector, I will have a brand new bulb for sale (never taken out of the box and never used with all the instructions and documentation from Epson). I bought the lamp just last month in May even though the current bulb only has 800 hours on it. My bulbs usually last 1500 hours so I always have spares. This is not the knock off but the original Epson ELPLP49 that I paid $250 for, which is about the going rate. Assuming the insurance company won't make me buy another 6500, I'll be selling this one for less than I paid. I will update this after I talk to the agent.