I had a very brief demo of the AE3000 with a HD80, but the room wasn't fully light controlled and had light walls, so pretty inconclusive. You really should demo as one man's meat and all that, but perhaps the convienience of the lens memory and the (lower setting) on the FI might swing you in favour of the AE3000. However once you're sat in the dark watching the film, the convienience features are less important (bar the FI mode if you like it) so I prefer the better dark scene performance. The AE3000 has a higher ANSI contrast (gives the image more depth) than the HD350, but you need a black velvet lined room to benefit: In a light coloured room you will not see the improved ANSI contrast, though you will (slightly) benefit from the deeper fade to black of the HD350. Really unless you can afford to waste money, you just need to demo: I did and that's why I sold my AE3000 (dealer came to my house with the HD350 & HD750 so I could see if it was worth it in my environment).