There's a couple new models, lower priced, the Panasonic PT-RZ470, which I think is out now, though what I've seen of reviews they are "mixed". It sounds like if you're mildly serious about color accuracy you'll need something like a Lumagen Radiance to calibrate it.
The other is the Optoma HD90/HD91, which are supposed to be out this fall, obviously no reviews of that one yet.
Both should be well less than the $10k+ (MSRP) high end models out now.
Originally Posted by kirknelson
Large color gamut:
Probably the most distracting short coming of my current projector is the color gamut. Gradients, especially visible in dark scenes, instead of smooth transitions seem to be a common and sever limitation of digital displays in general. I've seen manufacturer claims of 1 billion colors (instead of the 10,000ish colors my Sharp is capable of), but these projectors are all out of my price range...
I wanted to make mention of this, what you describe, gradients being visible, has nothing to do with gamut, it has to do with the bit depth the projector can reproduce
. Gamut is the "range" of colors, essentially the size of the palette the display has to work with, where as the bit depth is the granularity with which colors can be differentiated. This (gradation) is something that I think was almost universally improved (if not fixed) with the 1080p DMDs and associated electronics.
Wide gamut is essentially useless today, all home video sources (save some cameras and a few of Sony's new BDs, with xvYCC/xvColor) use the BT.709 or SMPTE-C color gamuts. You really want to stick with that until (hopefully) 4k brings us wider gamuts.