This is the condensed version of what he told to me:
Toshiba did not anticipate how popular the DLP format of High Definition TV would be so when the demand was great, they contracted out manufacture of some of the parts to other companies. The company they had making the bulb for the sets sent them bulbs that had an unnaturally short life. Toshiba replaced bulbs in defective sets but then ran out of bulbs... SO then they started replacing the whole LIGHT ENGINE to fix the problem of the bulb. Which lead to the depletion of their stock of light engines.
The light engine is the part that went out in my television.
Soooo... now I need to call the company I bought the TV from and see if there's anything THEY are willing to do for me. Even if it's only to put pressure on Toshiba to get my part. (This company's the proverbial 500 pound gorilla in town)