Sorry in advance for the long post. Most of the people posting here seem to have been looking at the same projectors I've been researching.
I haven't seriously looked at projectors for 4-1/2 years. I'm currently replacing a broken Infocus Screenplay 5700. All in all it was a decent machine with a good picture. Screen is 82" Stewart Firehawk.
My idiot builder installed columns on the screen wall that only allowed for the 82" screen. It looks great with my in-wall speakers, but the room is 14ft deep. The Infocus is currently mounted so the lens is 13'4" from the screen, with about 10" of offset. It is a light controlled dedicated home theater.
At the time I picked out the Infocus, I didn't see rainbows and couldn't stand the LCD screendoor.
Football is coming up and I just don't have the $$$ right now to buy another $3k+ projector. I'd like to stay with DLP, definitely want to go 1080P, but none of these cheap 108P projectors will allow for the long throw I have in the current setup. It would probably cost me some serious time and money to rewire and repair the ceiling moving the projector closer to the screen.
The simplest option I have is buying the LCD Pannasonic AE3000. It seems very flexible and with the lens shift I should have no problem -- almost a plug-n-play. I haven't seen one, but I'm scared of all the "softness" comments I hear. Also, it's still going to be $2500 after I pay sales tax. I did find a Mitsi floor model 6500 I can get for $2k, but it already has 950 hours on the lamp, in full mode. That's half the lamp life. I've also heard of new ones selling for around $2k, so the deal isn't that great.
Since I've been watching the Infocus for 4-1/2 years, will I be impressed with quality of one of the higher rated LCD's out there? Any suggestions on DLP's that may work for me? I'd even consider buying a used machine if the deal were right.