I bought the 8100 on a refurb. from Projector People for $749...
Given that I could not find an 8350 for less than $1100, I decided to just pull the trigger and give the 8100 a swing for that price I really did not feel I could make a bad move.
I was upgrading from an HD-1000 (Mitsubishi, 720p) and I still have a LOT of work left to do to get everything set up correctly, but my initial reaction to the projector was WOW! I am very much pleased with the image size and clarity I am getting on a wall that is not smooth, not painted and not finished! The 8100 for me is a great buy...unless it starts exploding bulbs every 3-4 months I am going to be very happy.
Now a bit of an aside, you have to realize there are different levels of enthusiasts here...some people are happy to accept some limitations and lesser image quality in exchange for value and convenience or size while others are not happy no matter what - they seek perfection and expect or accept no less. I could never tell you which you are without knowing you on a personal level, but you know yourself! If you are the kind of AVS'er who is OK with some limits and compromises, its my opinion that a refurb 8100 represents outstanding value at the $750 price point...you simply are not going to find a unit that is substantially better across the board for that kind of money...HOWEVER, buying anything at this price point and expecting too much would be a mistake.
For example...I am perfectly willing to sacrifice some parameters of picture quality in exchange for size, so when I run my 8100 at 106" 16:9 and then zoom the image to fit a 126" scope screen I am one happy camper even though I know I am compromising the absolute best image in exchange for greater immersion. Now, if that is an unacceptable trade off for anyone personally, then they probably wouldn't be in the Under $3000 forum...lol! Not that there's anything wrong with trying to get the absolute best performance possible from whatever equipment you buy!