Otis - what DLP do you have?
I have a Mits 57" 1080P. I think we got it 5 years ago, this month. I was still on the original bulb, but figured I'd get a new one while he was out. He said they no longer use the original model bulb. It's a brighter bulb, but takes a little longer than the original to turn on. Probably a full 45 seconds to power up. Repair dude said that Mits only makes the monster sets now. Something like 80" min.
Great picture, very happy with the Mits. Also have two LGs and give those good grades as well.
I can't believe you are only on your 2nd bulb. If it's in the basement or something and isn't used daily that makes sense. The "bulb replacement" that came with the warranty was about 50% of the warranty cost and with one or two service calls in the first coupla years, I actually came out even or ahead. Those 1080p DLP's had only been out a month or two when I bought mine so there was no way I was walking out of there wout a warranty.
Those bulbs are freaking expensive. Last time I ordered from a place called Pureland Supply. Still isn't cheap, but they had pretty good prices. The Mits bulbs were close to double the cost of a generic, so I have purchased the gennies. It was November 2010 last time I got a bulb, so it's been about 2 yrs. I'll look around on the internet again to check prices next time I need one. This one isn't starting to look dim yet, so maybe it'll last longer. The kids aren't down stair as much watching TV so there is a lot less "on/off on/off on/off" which shortens that bulb life.
You can buy just the bulb, without the housing, for about 60% of the cost of the whole unit, but you have to take the housing unit apart and get the new bulb in without touching it. It isn't worth the frustration to me, so I buy the housing with the bulb in it and just swap it out. Kinda cool, like TV surgery. Forces me to pull the TV out, check the ridiculous power regulator/surge protector and vacuum all the dust off the TV vents.