Put a new bulb (JVC OEM) in back in December. I can't remember how many hrs I had on the old one (maybe 1700). It was far from unwatchable at the time. I was motivated more because I was worried if I waited too much longer, I may have have a hard time finding a new OEM for a reasonable price. I had no desire to go through the hoops you guys do to save a few bucks. I picked up the JVC bulb from AVS for about $360 shipped (with NYS taxes) and have been perfectly satisfied since.
Was expecting to be blown away with how bright it would seem, but that actually wasn't the case. In fact I had a hard time seeing much of a bump in lumens at all- especially when I zoomed out for 2.35 content. The new brightness level is satisfying now, but gives me a little concern as there doesn't seem to be that much room to drop as it ages. We'll see.
One new phenomenon that I never expected is that recently I've begun to notice the screendoor when the pic is zoomed out all the way. I'm sitting about 1X SW away....but have never experienced this before on a 1080p (including this one). It's not persistent , just showing up here and there in certain kinds of scenes. I've started to defocus a little - something I NEVER expected to have to do at this resolution. That seems to have done the trick. I also dropped the the Darbee setting down to around 25%.
Just a few weeks back I went region free with an Oppo 103, and the HDMI problems that I posted about last September seem to have gone away with the change in players. It looks like the problem was more at the source than with either the cable or projector, because I'm seeing a HUGE cut in the handshake time, and no dropping of the signal or fussing needed when it's initially turned on.
Otherwise, apart from the slight screendoor which is easily attenuated, I'm still very happy with the Pioneer. I squeezed in right at the tail end of the supply when they were closing these out which I still count as one of the luckiest things to ever happen to me.
I'd stopped frequenting the board regularly and it was just dumb luck I wandered into the thread where I saw people going nuts scrambling to get one while they could. If it had been a few days later, I might have missed out entirely and likely have something now that I can't wait to replace.
As long as this continues to perform as it has, the only change I can see making is to pick up another pj solely for 3D viewing. I would still love to get another 4+ years out of this one.
I will say, even more so than the change in bulb, the addition of the Oppo has made this seem like a new PJ.
Then again, that may just be the superficial effect of seeing a new splash screen all the time now. Whatever it is I'll take it