If there are no dead pixels, I would estimate that anything under $1100 is a great buy and anything over $1400 is overpriced. If there are any dead pixels, then knock off $50 to $75.
I have a PJL 830, and as I recall, they have a 2000 hour bulb, so you should be OK there. As far as the lack of warranty, if he guarantees it's not DOA, then (like most electronics) you'll probably be fine.
Well the Sony has 16:9 panels where the viewsonic has 4:3. So when you are using the viewsonic on a 16:9 screen you will have light spilling over on the top and bottom. It would be sort of a tradeoff, the Sony would have better colors but the viewsonic would have better blacks. Also if you are bothered by screen door the viewsonic would help in this area. IMHO I would say stick with what you have.
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