A quality A-lens could put you at your budget by itself.
Two camps on the 2.35 screen issue. A-lens and Zoom.
If you have a PJ with zoom memory, (like a Panny 4000U or 7000U), the PJ will zoom the image when a 2.35 image is detected. Basically the black letterboxing bars will be projected off the screen. When a 16:9 image is detected, it will zoom again so that the full image is within your 2.35 screen. However, you will have black "pillarboxes" on the sides of the image with 16:9.
Either way, you will have black bars to deal with in one ratio or another. It all boils down to which format you watch more. Some purists want to have the cinema scope (2.35) format be larger than 16:9, for the "wow" factor when the movie starts.
I went with 16:9 when I upgraded my screen recently. I got a screen that was 16:9 and as wide as the room. In that case, the scope image is as large as it can be physically, and the 16:9 is as large as it's going to be as well. My scope image is still "smaller" than the 16:9 image, but I do like to watch a fair amount of BD concerts, which are 16:9, so I like the large image for 16:9.
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