AVS Special Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Monmouth County, NJ
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Used to have that model so I'm familiar with it. Not as bright as the Epson, but the color is more natural, quieter too.
Since Sony does not make a 2D model anymore, there is a used HW10 (SXRD, not LCD) in the classified for $800 that might fit your need in terms of better contrast. As for brightness, it's on par. It's also more than twice the size.
If you do not mind DLP, the Mitsubishi hc4000 is an excellent alternative.