In the first link he gave, in Art's 2012 review round up, the viewsonic pro8200 is given honor mention, and in Art's 2011 review round up the viewsonic pro8200 was 2nd place tie with epson 8350.
I looked at the prices of the models he recommended, the warranty, brightness, inputs/outputs, internal speakers watts or none, bulb hours , bulb replacement costs. And the viewsonic pro8200 came out on top for me. It was the cheapest by hundreds of dollars, longest warranty of all of them (3 years), lots of inputs/outputs, had 20 watts internal speakers (10x2), was super bright, a good gaming PJ, with low Rainbow Effect, and good company.
Then I checked the user reviews on Amazon and most liked it, and I read the reviews of some that didn't and also read comments others posted about the negative reviews.
Finally I read the last 4 or 5 pages of the viewsonic pro8200 forum in this room to get a feel if any issues with the unit.
When I was making my decision, I did that with all the models I was interested in.
I rather keep hundreds of dollars in my pocket than buy something more expensive with less bulb hours, less warranty, etc.
Even Coderguys top picks (the second link he posted) , has the viewsonic pro8200 in many places on that page, and he himself owns the pro8200 and has over 2,500 hours on it. So if it is good enough for Coderguy , it's good enough for me. And the price was right.
Also, it was my first PJ, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money for something I didn't know if I would use much, I wanted one that was 1080p and not 800x600, and one that was good for gaming, was very bright, portable, good for TV sports and blu ray movies. Also had long warranty so I didn't have to worry for 3 years if anything went wrong with it. So CHEAP and GOOD. Now if the difference between them is not that great, maybe 5 to 10 percent better, that's nothing to me. I'm not into nit-picking. Most never made it into ART's 2012/2011 Top ROUND up, and the fact the viewsonic pro8200 was in it for 2 years in a row, meant , it wasn't a bad or average PJ, it was towards the top, just not the very best ( the 2nd best or honor mention best) , but for me looking at the big picture (warranty, bulb life, etc) , it was the BEST FOR ME.
Now the first 4 or 5 months I didn't use the PJ that much, but NOW I am using it more, and it does get better and better , and I'm getting spoiled. After going from 42 inch HDTV to 100 inch screen, the 42 looks tiny and dull. I could put 6 42inch screens into the 100 inch screen.
I had to rearrange my room , for the first 4 or 5 months I was too close to screen, now I'm back about 7 feet and it looks so much better.
p.s. For example, the pana PT-AR100U which is listed 1st this year in ART's round up , only has 2,000 hours bulb life and expensive bulb replacement. Only has 1 year warranty, no internal speakers. Considering I picked up my pro8200 for 650 dollars NEW from newegg in dec 11 ... the ar100u is 1,300 dollars on Amazon right now (double the price) . Compared with 6,000 hours bulb life on pro8200, meant I would have to replace the bulb 3x more with more expensive bulb if I bought the pana PT-AR100U . And one year warranty on pana PT-AR100U or 2,000 hours warranty whatever comes first, .... crap, ....if something goes wrong after 1 year , expensive to fix.
That is the stuff I look at that Coderguy and Art's review do NOT go into. Price/warranty/bulb life/ bulb replacement costs and look at whole picture and if the double price is really a GOOD DEAL. Not for me.Edited by rgtaa - 8/31/12 at 4:45am