CM, I realise that there will be some VB. After I returned the AE900U for VB problems, I realized that my 10HT had some very minor VB that I hadn't seen before after years of use. If the replacement for my 10HT has slightly more VB than my 10HT, but considerably less than the AE900U had, I will be a happy camper.
As to white field uniformity, it has gotten pretty bad over time on the 10HT, but it is not something I notice watching movies, which is what counts. A unit would have to have pretty awful white field uniformity before I would be upset.
I am going to visit my local BB tomorrow on the off chance they might also have an HS51A at a discontinued price. If not, I am going to wait a month or so to buy a Z5 in the hope that Sanyo adjusts its manufacturing process to produce fewer units with the blue corners on black material problem and that the channel is cleared of early production units. Reading the reviews of the HS51a/HS60 and the Z5, I suspect that I would be quite happy with either unit.
I will buy from an AVS sponsor that provides a full refund if there is less than four hours on the bulb. I have already downloaded the manual and studying it should save me from spending a good part of that four hours learning how to use the remote. The blue corner problem should be easy to check for and I know which scenes in Ice Age do a good job of showing vertical banding problems.
The good news is that I have enough experience to have a decent handle on when a defect is minor and will not affect viewing, and when a defect is going to be significant enough to get in the way of viewing.
Glaw99, thanks for the advice. I will probably not go for the Epson partly because I want to keep the price down as I would be expecting to go 1080P in two or three years. I have alreaedy spent over $10K on projectors in the last decade and really want a relatively inexpensive unit to hold me over till I go 1080P.
Ghoniba, sorry to have hijacked your thread. I hope that the posts here will be of help to you in selecting a PJ.
P.S. I was thinking about my experience with the AE900U and suspect that the brightness of the projector, even in its lowest output mode, made the VB more visible. With the gain on the High Power screen material, the image with a new bulb was almost too bright. I wonder if folk who quest for light canons realize that a very bright image may tend to exaggerate certain image defects? In any event, I suspect that the High Power screen material (106" diagonal) is going to be a good match to either the Z5 or the HS60.