Originally Posted by Eyeball Chambers
.......... But I was hoping to avoid Panasonic because when I originally bought my AX100, I experienced the flicker problem and had to fight for a replacement (the AX200) after they wanted me to send it into Heartland for the second time in a few months. I was less than impressed with Panasonic's customer service. But it seems the AR100 is about my only option in that price range if I want a brighter picture.
Plus, it seems I just missed out on the $300 rebate (though the extended warranty is really more attractive than the money back). .........
I had the AX100U and it was my experience with it that kept me with Panasonic. I think the most common problems with the AX100U were the stuck iris problem (I never had that problem with almost 8000 hours on her) and brightness flicker. The flicker would go away if I ran the lamp on full power (non-eco) for a few ours. I believe they addressed the iris design on the AX200U. The flicker happened maybe 10 times in the 5 years I owned the AX100U. I haven't seen any flicker problems on the AR100U yet. Your experiences were different, but there were many that were happy with previous Panasonics. I considered the Epson 8350 and read about the bulb problems it was having (burned out very quickly for many people.... before 1000 hours). It sounds like Epson handled it very well and they sent people new bulbs without the need for threatening. I believe they have straightened out the problem.
Panasonic does seem to run rebates fairly often. With the price going up, it makes you wonder if they will do a rebate soon. They would probably make a lot more money selling it for $1200 with $200 rebate instead of $1000 flat since some people will skip the rebate or botch it.
When the AR100U pricing went from $1300 before $300 rebate to $1000 with no rebate, they canceled the rebate even though the dates were still valid on the rebate form. Just for kicks I sent in my rebate form even though I got it for $1000. Worst case I'm out a stamp and 15 minutes of time. I don't think they will send me $300, but maybe as a consolation they will extend the warranty..... it was worth a try.