Here's a little more speculation for you from Projectorreviews.com :
Epson Home Cinema 8100 vs. Panasonic PT-AE4000
Well, the PT-AE4000 was finally officially announced in the US, today. The real surpise was the price - $1999. That should shake things up. The key point here, is that the Panasonic is a step up projector so is it worth the difference in price. I haven't seen one yet, so I'm going from the public announcement, and some speculation going on.
The two are probably comparable in best mode brightness, and the Epson will probably be almost 50% brighter in brightest mode. The Panasonic will easily outperform the 8100 in black levels and slightly in shadow detail. Panasonic also brings its Lens Memory - an anamorphic lens emulation feature, very cool, let's you go with 2.35:1 screens.
Panasonic also provides creative frame interpolation. It's lens has motorized focus and zoom. The Epson's lens is manual. The Epson Home Cinema 8100 has the much better warranty. Overall picture quality should belong to the Panasonic by virtue of the better blacks and roughly comparable skin tones.
The Panasonic's direct competition is the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, which WAS anticipated to be at $2999. The $1999 price on the Panasonic may cause them to rethink that.
If you are looking for a projector primarily for sports first and HDTV/TV, save the bucks and buy the Epson. If you've got the $400 - #500 extra, the Panny is going to be your overall better value proposition.