I know that recommendation threads can get old but they can be extremely helpful so I am asking for help!
My situation is as follows:
I currently have an epson powerlite 720 (relavent to my question this is listed as 1600 lumen, 33db in normal operation). My theater is in a multi-purpose room. As such, my wife has creative control over the room. The walls are white and I project onto a bare wall - no screen. Most of my watching happens in the evenings. The room gets pretty dark (one small window on a side wall that blacks out well), but obviously light from the projector bounces around all those white surfaces.
Despite these limitations, I have been happy with the powerlite 720. I mostly watch in its brightest mode. Black levels are not great, but it works well enough and doesn't really hinder my enjoyment. My biggest gripe about the projector is the audible noise. The projector is ceiling mounted and I normally sit under it. I can also hear the dynamic iris which is a bit distracting.
So, I am considering moving up to 1080p. I do not care at all about 3D. If possible, I would love to find a quieter projector. Any recommendations??
Panasonic AR100u is all the rage right now. Clearly it has the brightness to handle my environment, but projectorreviews describes it as "noisy" and the eco-mode rating is 29db (my older epson is rated at 26db in eco).
Epson 8500ub refurbs are available from epson store for a low price right now. It has the same 1600 lumen rating as my current projector and is listed as quieter (28/22db on projector central). The newer epson 5010 is much more expensive, has 3d that I won't use, and is spec'd louder so that is not so appealing.
I've heard rumors about JVC 250 refurbs. Those seem to be very quiet, but I am concerned that they would not be bright enough to handle my needs. Thoughts on this? Anyone use these in a room that is not a cave?
Any others that I am not considering? Budget is flexible, but I'd like to keep it under $2000 and lower is probably better.