I don't really see Cinera in its current form as a mainstream consumer product, as much as the realisation of a new and unique niche product that we all wanted to exist, but no-one had yet invented it or made a commitment to bring it to market.
We Cinera backers (and anyone who has ordered a consumer unit through the website) are pioneers and early adopters of an emerging technological innovation. The Cinera staff themselves are innovators in this emerging personal cinema headset technology niche market, picking up where companies like Sony left off and progressing and evolving the technology themselves. There are similar projects being developed in the similar, but ultimately different, field of Virtual Reality headsets (like PIMAX for example).
With the limited resources available, the Cinera team have strived to produce the most refined and commercially-viable product they can, but my experience of crowd-funded ventures is that there is often a 'beta' characteristic to new crowd-funded products - a bit like the earlier developer versions of the Oculus Rift that were available to crowdfund before they eventually went mainstream and released the commercial model.
So, our true role is not as end-customer, but as supporter and enabler of the progression of the technology. The product we receive is the best it can be given the constraints of the project creators, however it remains the first of its kind, so while it can be quirky and unrefined in some ways, the functionality it offers remains unique and exists only through Cinera's creativity and our faith.
There was and still is nothing out there similar to Cinera in terms of image quality and FOV. There are more mature alternative products out there, but they offer something different.
Taking the plunge as backers is a frustrating but also rewarding experience. My friends who I've demonstrated my Cinera to are amazed as they've never seen anything like it before, nor did they have any idea such gadgets were being developed. And I'm proud to be a small part of enabling this device to be launched, and grateful to be able to hold such a product in my hands and enjoy the unique experiences it offers.
Is it exactly how I imagined it would be? No. There are some frustrating quirks and limitations that prevent it from reaching the levels of perfection I have dreamed of for all these months while I, like others, have waited for it to arrive. We all have a right to feel frustrated about any problems we experience with our unit, and actually, voicing these concerns will help Cinera to learn from and resolve any mistakes from this process. In fact, this forum shows that they are more than eager to accept our feedback (positive and negative) and make the most of this learning experience, while empowering us to share all our experiences, ideas, solutions, workarounds and frustrations.
Am I happy I backed it? Yes. I have been able to find workarounds for most of the issues I have encountered (and look forward to the upcoming firmware updates that will resolve some of the other issues), and it's still an amazing headset. My hope is that this venture proves successful enough for Cinera to be able to move forward with a next-generation headset that will benefit from all the experience the Cinera team will have gained from the design, production and mass-feedback from this headset, and release something that will meet all our expectations and tick all our boxes.
Probably a similar process to what Goovis have gone through with their G1 and G2 models (I'm hoping third time is the charm for them!).
Cinera (even with the early bird discount) is a relatively expensive product, and that in itself sets our expectations very high, and we are justified in wanting a good quality product for that kind of premium price point, but we have to acknowledge that this is not a regular commercial product that is simply available in stores, and may not have that same 'consumer' polish (though even initial batches of premium products such as IPhones and Samsung Galaxy mobile phones are released with all kinds of manufacturing quirks and unfinished software, so we should probably afford a bit of patience to these far smaller and more limited crowd-funded companies).