Got a base model x. Womp womp womp. Oh well, still loving the car haha. But yeah $700 for a pair of oem headlights just isnt clicking in my head. I'd rather pay 3-400 for a retrofit kit. Just scared to do it myself considering this would be my only set of headlights and I wouldn't want to mess them up.
The kit plus the install really adds up in the end, cost-wise. Your best bet, honestly, is to wait for a set to go on sale for <$1000, then have them blacked out, or projectors upgraded, etc. Then sell your halogen set to recoup some of the $$. That way you also have no downtime while you wait for the SSS headlights to be worked on.
However if you don't want to upgrade the projectors, popping them open to black them out is fairly simple, and personally I haven't seen a set of the X lights leak yet, there's a crap ton of sealant in there. If you're worried when you put them back together, put a thin bead of waterproof silicone sealant around the "seam" once they're back together and bam, you're done. Costs you all of like $15 in supplies...just takes a while the first time you do it.
But yeah, retrofitting non-SSS with projectors, the cost really starts to rise when you don't DIY. Companies charge a lot
of money for this service. In the end it's actually cheaper and cleaner to get a set of SSS as I mentioned above...not new though, new price is almost $1400 a set. Like the other poster said, you can find them on sale used sometimes for 700-800ish.
There's a right hand headlight on ebay right now for about $300, looks like just one of the mounting tabs is cracked. You can always pick it up and wait for a left hand headlight to go on sale or something to complete the pair.
Mini merchants can't do retrofits. We're limited to a $200 max price and the labor alone is fairly time consuming and the price wouldn't justify the amount of time per set unfortunately. Example, as a MM I can only offer a couple of products max, so I can do blackouts as one "product" and SSS projector upgrades as another "product"..hence why no mini merchants are doing it. You'd have to pay full vendor dues to be able to charge appropriately.
Then you get into custom painting, demon eyes/halos, etc, and the cost structure just gets more complicated...
So yeah, find a set of projectors at a good price point and have them blacked out.