In my habit of closing threads - Two and a half months later this is finally resolved. To be fair, there were a couple holidays in there and I gave up for about 2 weeks out of frustration with Panasonic.
The good: Panasonic ultimately replaced the main board and optical block and my projector looks absolutely amazing now. AGI took over dealing with Panasonic and convinced me just to send the projector into Panasonic because they were certain that it would be deemed out of spec - they were correct. Let me reiterate - AGI was great!
The bad: Panasonic customer service was atrocious. Absolutely terrible. They did everything they could to dissuade me from returning a projector that every unbiased person / entity believed was way out of spec. They provided absoulutely no communication during the troubleshooting process or even anything letting me know when they would be done. If it weren't for AGI, I wouldn't have even known the projector was on it's way back and wouldn't have had anyone home to sign for it. And $50 for shipping gone simply because I was shipped a defective product originally.
The worst: Panasonic didn't even tape up the inner box containing the projector - when I removed the box (that was upside down inside the outer box), the projector fell out onto the floor. No, the tape didn't come loose - there was no tape there. Thankfully it was carpet and some of the padding in the other box happened to be under the projector, but ... are you kidding me Panasonic?!?
It's such an amazing product, but I will never go through this with Panasonic again. They're off my list of purchasing options.