Re: expensive when put up against traditional lamp-based devices.
We used to use a ceiling mounted projector for our main TV. We went through two different projector brands with mixed success.
The lamps started to get very dim after about 1 to 1 1/2 years. The OEM lamps were about $290 each, and aftermarket lamps were $170. The aftermarket lamps lasted 1/2 to 2/3 as long as OEM, so not any cheaper in the long run.
We went to a large LCD TV when the prices came way down. I'm not sure I would ever go back. You need to keep the room dark, no matter how good the projector is. You just don't get good contrast unless the room is completely dark.
Someone I work with tried one of the new laser projectors for their church, and found that the brightness was not good enough, and exchanged it for one with a regular lamp. I helped him choose the projector, and based on my experience with lamps, suggested he try the laser one. We both really wanted the laser projector to work, but it just didn't have the brightness.
I've seen some YouTube videos where people have hacked projectors and replaced the mercury lamps with LED modules. They seem to have good success. One person put in a 100W LED module, and it was significantly brighter than with the original lamp. It makes you wonder why projector manufacturers aren't doing the same?