It will be REALLY interesting to see how the VW500ES compares to the VW1000ES. Really, if the contrast and sharpness are even close, i don't see the point of getting the VW1000ES. That's an extra $10,000 at least.
From the hands on reports so far (including Cine4homes detailed report), the brightness calibrated is almost the exact same. The native contrast is 20% less, BUT you can adjust how far the iris opens and closes in a new menu, so really, i would just clamp it down that extra bit and be good. The only thing that concerns me is the lens sharpness. But that's a large premium to pay, if its $10,000 MORE than the VW500. The VW1000 has a wider color space, and a sharper lens. but the VW500 has many cool features that are not on the VW1000 YET (mastered in 4K, autocalibration, new motionflow modes, previously mentioned iris tuning, possibly it has brighter 3D than the VW1000 if Sony implements its lamp pulsing tech, and probably cheaper lamps). Maybe some will come with the update? hopefully it does for VW1000 users.
If the VW1000 is still 25K, i would have a hard time justifying that purchase over the VW500 unless the lens and contrast are REALLY crappy. I can't see the contrast on the VW500 being much worse than my VW95, which i'm happy with.