I picked up an optoma HD70 in early 2007.
Its been a great projector even though I have had to replace the fan once a few years ago.
Today I got the dreaded orange lamp light. Luckily after a few tries I got it started and its running, but I think I am on borrowed time. I have been "looking" for about a year, but we just had a kid so money is pretty tight right now.
I was hoping to save up for a panasonic AE4000U, but it looks like they are discontinued now and the current model (the 8000AU) is squarely out of my price range.
I am trying to stay under 1000, but I would like to get 3D capabilities. I realize this is unrealistic so lack of 3D is not a deal breaker. The wife doesn't dig 3D(vertigo issues) but I feel like not getting a 3D projector at this point would be limiting my future options as I tend to be a use it till it's prohibitively expensive to fix type of person. I'd like to get something that will last another 6 years.
That said I think I can get the boss to let me stay under 1500.
Right now I am throwing 12 feet to a 97 inch Graywolf II screen. Incidentally I would not buy a glass beaded screen again and I am considering a fixed screen option in the future since we never put it up as the room is our primary media room. Mostly HD TV, some movies, very little HTPC, and Wii,Xbox360, and PS3.
The light ranges from pretty bright to mostly dark, depending on the time of day. If we are just watching TV we generally have some lights on, but if we are watching a movie, then we have all the lights down.
Right now I am looking at the HD20, HD33, or Epson8350. I would really like to get a little better black level performance than I get currently with the HD70.
I am going to continue to dig around the net and the forums here but any input would be appreciated.