There's a significant price difference
Let me put it this way. DLP is overmistified by techs. I'm in Hungary, and let's just say that translating manuals is not the strength of our country. Most people who bought DLPs went into it blind, and ended up having no idea what really was wrong with their sets when the bulb went. Even when they know it's a bulb problem, they usually end up taking the set to the service centre to have the bulb replaced because they think it's a big job. The service centres of course aren't known for their honesty and cheap prices, so they usually ended up billing out more then was necessary, like adding a colour wheel replacement to the price even though it was probably not necessary. Ergo, when folks hear from the repair centre that they need to spend the price of a small LCD to get their DLP working again, they just abandon ship and leave the set.
You would probably agree that this is the fault of whoever doesn't bother to know his set, but this is probably why folks who hate DLP hate it...
As for my personal experience? I never had a rear projection DLP, only a ceiling mounted projector, so I can only share my experience regarding a not-so-cheap NEC HT1000. The $5000 price-tag would indicate something good no? I bought it with 300 hours from the first owner, and I was only really happy with it when I first got it, because I could finally watch a wall-sized image. The almost non-existent black level, and the (compared to CRT, plasma, and even some better LCDs) washed out image, coupled with a merely 1000 hour lamp life (2000 with reduced brightness in ECO mode) isn't the pinaccle of viewing.
Even though it was never used in anything other then ECO mode, at 1600 hours, the image is unwatchably dim. A replacement bulb unit costs around 36000 HUF plus shipping (that would be about $130), and that is a chinese aftermarket bulb, with god only knows how short a lifespan. (Yes I know I could replace the bare bulb only inside the cartridge, but that again would be a chinese aftermarket bulb, and looking at the casual user, most folks don't have the equipment to do so...) Add to that the fact that something is probably wrong with either the colour wheel, or the input board, (the colour red will occasionally disappear and only come back by restarting the projector, if at all) and you know why I would not buy DLP again... At this point it is not worth to repair, and since the electronics are so compact that the only way to repair is to replace modules, it can't even really be sold for parts... ie, it will end up in the trash can.
All in all, DLP has a good enough image when it works, but once anything other then the bulb goes, you're better off dumping the set.
Originally Posted by Augerhandle
So, you've never owned a lamp?