I purchased mine from B&H for $1900 after rebate a couple weeks back, then they pricematched to $1879
I looked at used prices on ebay. If they release a new model I can probably sell this one for close to what I bought it for and upgrade (IF the new one is released in my price range - which it probably won't be). $1800-2000 range was really my max consideration.
There are only five authorized vendors for projectors from panasonic - each of them is within about $50 bucks on price and you have to buy from an authorized vendor to get the current $350 dollar rebate. None of the gray market sellers are competitive on price when you take the rebate into account.
I am a little annoyed I didn't buy it last black friday for $1750 after rebate, like I considered doing at the time. But it hasn't been cheaper since - so I figured it was time to jump since currently is about as cheap as it's been outside of that one sale event last black friday 2013.
I had an AX200U before my epson 8350. I still think the AX200U is a solid projector. The Epson 8350 was a slight upgrade or lateral move from my AX200U in all areas except perhaps desktop PC resolution/use where it was a more signifant noticable upgrade - because the higher resolution afforded 1080p support for clear text and higher res gaming use. The Panasonic AE8000U is a more significant upgrade over the Epson 8350 than the 8350 was over the AX200U in my opinon.
Is it worth the money? If you use 2.35:1 screen - it's a no brainer solution. Otherwise that's a question you have to answser: I wouldn't buy it if you don't have money to spare or an actual desire an upgrade. Not like I'd eat Ramen noodles for six months to get it. However, It is really a nice projector in this pricerange, and from an AX200U - it'll be a pretty signifcant upgrade.
I'm not sure what else you'd consider at the $2K mark that would have better features and picture quality and low input lag. I didn't find anything anyway in my search. Even about 1.5 years after it's release it's still a top shelf pick - from what I have seen in person and was able to research. If you can wait up to a year I suspect panasonic might have their new model out - but then it'll not be $1900 either. This AE8000U was over $3k when it was released in late 2012.