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I've read quite a bit about the Viewsonic Pro8100 and I know the one key risk is the development of horizontal banding. I'm not sure if that's still an issue, but units are being sold (it would seem on final clearance) for a good bit less than $1,000 at a couple of retailers and I'm wondering from those who have experienced it whether it is compelling at that price point given the current crop of near $1,000 1080p budget models like the Epson 8350.

The warranty seems good, and there are some nice features like motorized zoom, focus and lense shift, but at the end of the day I guess I'm curious to know if the advances in technology have yielded a picture superior enough to warrant spending a few hundred extra dollars, or if this projector, which was very competitive on release, holds it's own well enough to be a bargain in this price range.

It seems with the discount retailers, returns are acceptable only if the unit is defective so I want to be reasonably sure I'll be pleased with the outcome. I'm currently running an Epson HC720, which I actually really like, I just sit so close to such a big screen (~12' from 92") that I feel 1080p will be a noticable improvement for me.

I care about image quality, and it seems there are some sacrifices in accuracy for "pop" on the Viewsonic, but there's something to be said for a dynamic picture. The only other thing that I care about is black levels, and I just don't see any way of getting what I want in that department for less than $1,600 or so at best. Any thoughts? I'd appreciate anyone's insight.

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