It's an absolute pleasure. If you're feeling generous, I'd recommend supporting this community: either by purchasing whatever projector you go with from the AVS Shop
(if they ship to your location), or signing up
for a premium subscription for a year to the forums (though that's a bit pricier than a pint
It's tough to recommend anything below 100" in terms of screen size for front projection: to put it in perspective, I sit about 10'-11' from a 127" diagonal-screen. IMAX-style. The missus sits a bit further back (maybe 12' - that's closer to 'average' from a screen this size).
Dipping to 90" or lower is already making a regular TV more attractive as an option.
Ideally, get the projector first (without a screen and without a mount), and experiment on your wall (with the projector on a table) for a few days to determine what size screen you feel most comfortable with. (A wall of consistent color does a reasonable job for this). I'm confident you'll appreciate 100" or even a bit more from 9.5ft: but it's a matter of taste.
Assuming 100" diagonal, the options look like this:
Epson 2030: 8' 11" to 10' 8"
Optoma HD131x: 10' 10" to 13'
Optoma HD141x: 10' 9" to 11' 9"
BenQ W1070: 8' 4" to 10' 10"
By far the most limited in placement in terms of throw is the 141x. Strange since the 131x was relatively flexible. If quietness is a primary concern, ensure you have a return policy in place since the 141 has been found to be noisy
for some users. It may be an issue with just a few batches since it appears not to affect all units.
As far as rainbows, both those Optomas only have 2-3x color wheels (around half the speed of the W1070). Those slower wheels also have a negative effect on picture quality (once again, the W1070 wins out here
) since to obtain reasonable color accuracy you have to dip brightness significantly (to only use the RGB segments of the wheel).
That said the HD141x (and HD131xe - if stock is readily available) are very competitively priced, so if you're on a tight budget, they're both good options. The 141x looks only marginally better than its predecessor and has a more-limited lens and none of its predecessor's analog inputs; though it does gain MHL. Neither has ever been anywhere near official >$1k list price, so the '50% off' you're seeing is marketing hype: the current $650 (CAD) price is quite typical for the unit.
If you're really worried about rainbows, then, once again, make sure you're covered by a return policy. If you pick up an Optoma and see rainbows, then swap out with a BenQ. If you still see rainbows, then you'll need to swap out to the 2030. (Again, the majority of viewers are not affected by rainbows at all).
Finally, whether the projector is above or behind you doesn't have a huge impact on noise: the white-noise produced by any of these units won't sound that much different if placed a bit in front, above, or behind your seating.
They've all got fan vents on their fronts, so it's possible you might get a bit of a noise advantage if they're placed a bit in front of you: once again, you can experiment with this before mounting, using a table.