I also sold a Mitsu hc3800 recently for under $1k. It's brighter than your Sony but noisier, more light leakage. However, it has the DLP "pop". Don't remember how the contrast stacked up with the Sony but w/ 1080p, it has a bit more depth than the Sony. Hope you're not RBE sensitive. The 4x wheel is not fast enough for me. Color is definitely more vibrant than the Sony. The zoom is on par. BTW, I never like the Sony's vertical/horizontal adjustment wheel/mechanism, sort of cheap.
Make sure you get one with warranty though.