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Plasma screens, just like the lamps in a LCD or DLP projector have a set life to them and will eventually burn out. Most plasma screens have a life of 20,000-30,000 hours. Now this may seem like a lot, but again there are some things you should know. Plasma brightness is identical to the way UHP lamps in projectors work…on half-lives. At 10,000 hours you will be at half the brightness you started with, and at the full 20,000 or 30,0000 hours the image will be so dark and distorted, that it is actually no longer watchable.
In comparison, a home theater projector has a 2,000 hour lamp. Changing a lamp is a fraction of the cost of replacing an entire plasma screen.