Holy cow, this is by far one of the most annoying "owners threads" that I've ever read/contributed to.
Dogone, you love your ae3000u; great. I love mine, too. No chromatic abnormality, no focus issues whatsoever, no dust blobs (nor were there on my 700+ hour ae1000u that it replaced), convergence, while not perfect, is very good and on real-world material is not an issue whatsoever. I consider myself lucky, but the ae3000u is exactly what I hoped it would be. However, I have no doubt that there are bad units floating around out there, just as there are with any piece of equipment. It's what happens in the real world.
Aquafire, you got a bad unit, or at least one that you're not pleased with, and was told that it was considered "normal". I'd probably go find another projector, too. However, having done that, I'd leave the "owner's thread" of whatever product I no longer had.
It seems that there are probably quality control issues which is unfortunate. It's also the reason that Panasonic extended an extra year on their warranty for those of us that bought early units. Also, retailers seem to be doing the right thing and checking out units before shipping them out, or accepting returns beyond their normal return period.
The ae3000u is a great projector for its price, and fulfills my needs very well (bright enough, lens memory, better blacks than before, good color accuracy out of the box, great tweakability). However, at $2499 retail, it's not, nor should it be expected to be, the best projector on the market. To get "the best", you pay; I got a Pioneer Kuro to get the best picture currently available in a flat panel, and I paid a premium to get it. Other projectors at the same price point may be better at some things, worse at some things, and meet people's specific needs differently. That's great for those of us in this hobby! I wish people would find the middle ground between tearing down products unnecessarily and needlessly based on a bad experience or two, and I also wish people would stop acting like whatever they buy is the end-all, be-all of consumer electronics and anyone who says differently is wrong.
Buy what you want, report the good and the bad about it like adults, and move on. Okay, I'm done now.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. -- Albert Einstein