I had a Sanyo Z4. I had it for 6 years and I never had any problems. I would have to spend alot of time tweaking the lens shift to get it right but after spending enough time, I could get it close to perfect. I never had any lamp issues. I replaced the lamp once after the alotted time had elapsed and never had to deal with any customer service whatsoever!
Low and behold, I thought the time came to upgrade to something brighter and that can do 1080p. I got the 8700 UB and althought the brightness and picture quality were great, I found it impossible to get the screen perfectly aligned unlike my Sanyo Z4.
My first bulb exploded after about 6 hours of use. I made sure to have at least 10 inches of clearance on all sided but the bulb still exploded!
Now after about a year and a half, I'm up to my 5th replacement! They still claim that there's nothing wrong with this garbage projector and that it's the bulb. It's obvious to me that there just stalling until my warranty runs out!!! Every few months I have to go without a projector while Epson ships me another new bulb. I've had ENOUGH!!!!
I was about to upgrade to an Epson 5020. NO WAY I DO THAT NOW!!! I'm sick and tired of all there crap!!! I will be buying a Panasonic! I don't care if there customer service isn't great. The greatest scenario is not having to use the customer service! That was my experience with Sanyo and I hope to experience that again! I don't mind paying whatever it takes for a quality product. I don't mind replacing bulbs when the life expires. Having to constantly deal with Epson is more annoying than anything! On top of that the optics in this projector are obviously not right because it is not capable of being properly aligned with the screen! Epson doesn't want to check the projector to see if it's defective. They say it's my fault and keep shipping me more bulbs that will soon burn out because my projector is obvioulsy a lemon!
I know there are many on here that have had no issues with there projector and I'm happy for you. However, if you google all the issues with all the 8000 series projectors from Epson, alot of people are having the same problems and are as annoyed as I am. They get bulbs shipped to them and when there warranty is over, there stuck with a defective projector! Yeah that's great customer service right?
Sorry to hear about your troubles I'm sure you must be frustrated as hell. I was close to pulling the trigger on an Epson 8350 until I visited this site and began reading about the bulb issues and decided to go with an Optoma HD23. I'm replacing a Panasonic AX 100u which has served me well for the past 6 years so hopefully if you go with the Panny you'll get a good one. Prior to that I had a Sanyo PLV-Z1, my first PJ which my nephew is still using today some 10 years after I bought it. Anyway, as good as the professional reviews as Epson gets you'd think there would be some mention of their quality issues in current reviews.