I doubt the 8350 is getting those blacks quite as dark. that can have a huge impact on the overall picture.
seems like plasmas are just an order of magnitude cheaper than projectors. the 'best' plasmas are selling for 3-4k. projectors can easily get into the 10k and above range.
but I do think you should be able to get plasma quality in most regards for 3k. I recently bought a Samsung f8500, and it was so much nicer than my projector I had to upgrade that as well. ended up with a jvc x35(cost me about 3200 after taxes, but i'm in Canada) and I feel for how I view material, both provide similar picture quality.
Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1018AH, 5.1 audio
Sources: HTPC(Mediabrowser), PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Sony DVP-CX995V
Control: Harmony One