I thought the exact same thing about obsessive research when I first saw the note. I can't wait for some reviews.
I currently have an Optoma H31, so this, the HD20, or something 720p even, along with a blu-ray player, would be a huge upgrade for me. I was also very excited about the panny's zoom memory feature, but it's about a grand more than I want to spend at the moment.
While the 1.5x zoom range is big enough to allow for the zoom you would need to go from 16:9 to 2.35:1, I doubt that a projector in this price range would have motorized zoom, let alone the memory feature. This wouldn't stop you from manually zooming the lens for 2.35:1 though. The only thing that wasn't mentioned that MAY be needed for that is some vertical lens shift to center the picture vertically after zooming.