I currently have both. My PJ gets 2000 hours on a bulb whch I think is very reasonable. There is another thread on this forum discussing the pros and cons of each display device. The general jist is that they are oranges and apples. A plasma is one heck of a TV but it cannot take the place of a good PJ in terms of immersive viewing of movies and sports. Both can have excellent PQ depending on the model. The PJ requires light control and the Plasma is excellent in bright conditions.
I have a Sharp 9000 PJ and a Panny 6UY Plasma. The Sharp's PQ is better with DVD abd HD source material. The Panny is better with SD and more convenient for casual viewing. When it comes time for a big game or a movie, I'll take the PJ every time.
I started my upgrade path with a front projection setup. Payed an electrician to put a plug in my cieling, had guys ready to place cables (40 feet worth) in my walls and cielings and mounted a moderately good projector (X1). Overall the picture was fantastic but the poor light conditions (should have thought about that first)/inability to view during the daytime and having to deal with a "garage door opener" in the middle of the cieling finally killed it. The bulb life was an issue too. The first week I watched around 40-50 hours... 1.5% of the bulb life! I just couldn't deal with a ticking time bomb like that... I bought a panny 42" and have never looked back.
Wow....I see your point. $400 for 500 hours is a lot. I basically only use my PJ for movies and special sporting events. I've had my PJ for 1.75 years and I only have 1000 hours on the bulb. If I had to choose only one display device, I would have an RPTV or a 50" plasma.
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