Originally Posted by wookiegr
Read the reviews of the Epson at Amazon. Doesn't do much good to have an amazing projected image just to have the unit fail in any number of ways just after a year.
A significant number of Epson 5040UB users have experienced power supply problems rendering the projector unusable. Some unfortunate souls have returned their projectors to Epson for warranty replacement, only to get another lemon machine. Some have rinsed and repeated multiple times before getting a reliable unit. What percentage of 5040 users have had this problem? Only Epson knows. Surprise! surprise! They are not talking.
The vast majority of 5040 users have not experienced power supply failures or any other problems. I have had one for about a year and a half and it has worked perfectly. Extremely bright and sharp, with vivid color and very good contrast. The contrast is not as good as the JVC projectors, but it is still satisfying. The replacement lamps are significantly less costly than the JVC lamps. If you use your projector like a television, put in big hours, and intend to keep your projector for many years, lamp replacement costs can add up.
I see replacement lamps on Amazon and eBay for your Panasonic for much less than $350. Buying a "compatible" lamp that does not have the official Panasonic seal of approval is playing roulette. Sometimes you win, sometimes not.
The replacement for the Epson 5040 - the 5050UB - should be available in a month or two. I would wager that it will not have the power supply problem of the presently available projector. It will also have the 18 gbps HDMI chipset allowing it to be used with 4K UHD games and streaming services without add-on devices (HDFury Vertex, Linker and the like).
Will the Epson make you say WOW? I don't know. I went from a Marantz 12S4 DLP that was about 10 years old to the Epson, and I definitely did say WOW. But my Marantz was pretty dim compared to your Panasonic.
My 2 cents: play replacement lamp roulette with your Panasonic, or wait for the 5050UB.
Good luck with your choice, and happy viewing,
The harder it is to tell the difference, the less difference it makes.