"Great bang for the buck"4.5 starson by llodmell
Pros: Quiet operation, good blacks, bright
Cons: Remote not backlit, S-video connector
Summary: I researched projectors for about two weeks before I settled on this one. I already had a 31" TV for watching television and wanted a budget movie watching setup. I read reviews for others, including the Cinego (which I saw at Radio Shack, wasn't impressed) and looked at the InFocus that was around $1000 with similar specs but no DVD player. I bought the Optoma right when it came out based on previews and specs.
I'm very happy with it; I use a 100" screen ($150 from Radio Shack) and an HT-15 Panasonic surround system ($300) for a home theater at less than $2,000. The projector has great color, decent blacks, and is quiet during operation.
My only real beef is with the remote; it isn't backlit (important in a dark room!) and the projector/DVD player functions are very separate and not so intuitive. Oh, and I went to use an S-video connector to hook up my PS2 for some gaming, but the plug on the Optoma is too recessed for some aftermarket S-video connectors to reach.
For those who complain about bulb life, I've had the projector for 7 months and used it for around 100 hours (rated bulb life of 4000) and replacement bulbs are around $300-400. I wouldn't use it for watching TV if I were concerned about bulb life.