Originally Posted by darinp2
To me the price differential isn't just about fairness (I'm not too concerned with fairness of pricing with toys), but about cost of ownership. I care most what it costs me to own things. Moreso than cost to purchase in general.
I look for a kind of rubber band or spring effect. As an example, when Panasonic announced that their AE4000 would sell for $1999 I figured that they had pushed hard to get under the magic $2k barrier and that their pricing would have been higher otherwise. This gave me some confidence that it would hold its resale value somewhat well. I think it turned out that way too, since the next year Panasonic didn't release a new model and were able to keep their $1999 street price.
This time I see the opposite for US buyers of the 500ES. This time the spring is set for pricing of that level of quality to possible drop quickly next year given Sony's pricing in the rest of the world. If Sony releases another projector next year will they keep the same kind of disparity? If not they could play catchup by raising relative prices in most of the world or by lowing them in the US (or a combination). Also, if JVC or another company release a true 4K next year worldwide will they do the same kind of pricing difference with the US higher? I doubt it.
While there is the emotional side of not being willing to pay a higher price than the rest of the world just because somebody (or some group) at Sony US preferred higher prices (my guess), for me this kind of thing is more about my lack in faith in resale value for these projectors a year or more from now.
I almost look at it the other way, I don't look at resale at all when I buy a projector, rather I look at value. Value of course is a very squishy thing, you an poke and prod it 6 ways to Sunday and come up with a different answer each time, I guess for me it's more a "feeling" of value. I think my first projector was $3000, it was a disaster (those things happen) next two were less I think. Current one was more. Oddly my current projector, the most expensive one of the bunch has had the lowest overall cost of ownership (cost/year). But this is all sort of beside my point. I picked each one based on where I was comfortable based on overall value.
A while back I called AVS about VW1000 B-stocks and I've got to admit those are a pretty great value, unfortunately still to expensive. But that's really what killed my interest in the VW600, it's just way too close in price to the VW1000.
I think the thing that "aggravates" the potential US buyers the most, especially now, is that it's clear that even Sony really doesn't "value" the projector that high. Now you can't really compare Japan and US prices since the markets work different (Japan isn't as much of a bargaining culture, the price often is what it is), but still when you factor in the Japanese price and Sony's SURE policy, it really seems like the MSRP in the US should have been $10k. Oddly that would have lined up almost perfectly across the globe, ~$9k in Japan, $10k minus some discount but plus tax in the US, $10k including VAT but maybe minus some discount in the EU. It would have been within 10% worldwide. To me, I guess it's just further confirmation that Sony US is out of touch with the world and their market.