The more I look at newer DLP offerings and their fixed vertical offsets, it doesn't seem attractive to me to buy one. I have about 9'10" from the projector lens (in72) to the screen, and with something like an HD4000 I'd have to drop my screen at least a foot based on projectorcentral's calculations. Not that I'm against that; just don't want the screen to be too low - my ceilings are barely 8' drywalled in the basement where this setup resides. I've not ever owned a non DLP projector, but the noise (given such a small room too) reduction leans me towards LCD as well.
I don't really NEED an upgrade right now, but I don't need ripped off when I'm trying to pay off other bills either. I know my friend is probably able to negotiate, but I'm really willing to walk away from this if it's too high. I guess the long and short of it is - I don't want to invest the 600$ he wants into a projector when it could be a brick tomorrow with no possibility of fixing. That was my main concern with the hours I know are on it.
I've got a lot more research to do I guess before I make the decision - at least on the new projectors. I'm not too worried on getting something quick either - and I thank everyone in this thread for their honest opinions!