"So, what's your story with choosing this projector? How is it? What are your frames of reference? Are you completely satisfied?"
My thoughts are more or less already told in other thread but to answer your good questions:
-I chose this PJ because my JVC got that "pink stripe" issue which is also discussed elsewhere here. The budget was thight and I first found a special price for HD9000 (2790 euros in Finland) and then I started to search info about it around the web. And this was the way I found HC5 and thought to give it a try. And it was one of the best decisions I've ever done when it comes to home electronics.
-How is it? Simply fantastic, absolutely better than JVC 350 in every way. Sharper, yes, but still has that "film-like", peaceful, easy-for-the-eyes, but still live, rich, and colorful picture. Black levels and shadow details are stunning now when the lamp have cracked in and bright corners have tamed quite a lot. And this is out-of-the-box, there's no point to do any calibration before the lamp has it's first 100 hours full. It's very possible that there's not much calibration needed.
What comes to 3D this PJ is bright enough to make the watching experience enjoyable. There is some crosstalk from time to time in fast movements but so is in the movie theater, too.
-Frames of reference... not much, unfortunately. I checked the JVC X35 in one dealer's HT demo room and it was, of course, great. But no change to do any A to B comparison. But after JVC 350 (or any JVC) I wouldn't easily go back to any LCD (and those I've had many...) or DLP model any more.
-Completely satisfied? Yes, now that bright corners are almost completely gone and solution for the Iris issue is found there's nothing to complain. I didn't want to change this to another unit, there's no quarantee that the new one would work any better. And, as Jimmy12 also wrote, auto-iris is unusable so the heck with it
And BIG THANKS to jimmy12 for the service menu info!!