Originally Posted by oink
Exactly my thoughts.
You can get 90% or more of the performance of the high-end with mid-level stuff.
I just upgraded my audio gear, and went with ID companies that have much lower overhead than those who advertise in all the magazines, etc. The components I chose have very good specs, reviewed very high, and have a loyal customer base. They weren't cheap but compare well to those costing many times more.
Regarding Art S. comment about spending 25K for a projector, I think viewing habits need to be taken into consideration. My current dedicated room is much smaller than most at 10x12. I like to be "immersed", so I have a large screen for the room size (8 feet). At that viewing distance, the only PJ's that will work for me have been Panasonic, with 'smoothscreen'.
I've auditioned, and owned other brands/technologies, but they all had visible SDE at my viewing distance. (JVC, Sony (LCoS, SXRD) won't throw a big enough picture in that room.)
My new PJ (PT-AE7000 480hz 3D) looks excellent to me. In a black velvet covered room, and a Dalite High Power screen, it looks like a giant plasma.
I'm sure there are better PJ's, and I may consider others if I ever build a bigger room. Right now I'm in home theatre nirvana.