Thanks for your response. Our HT is being spec'd completely from the ground-up. This is going into a home we're building (that is still in the design stages- right now I'm working on finalizing the floorplans).
What I'm looking for screen-wise is something like the Stewart "Director's Choice" line (variable masking) to accommodate varying aspect ratios. At this point I'm still sitting on the fence with behind the screen speakers, or not. Since I have a good sized area, exposed speakers (ie.: towers, center) won't be a problem per se', but I must say I'm leaning slightly towards them being hidden for the sake of streamlining the room. So there is still the question of perforated screen or not. But I digress. As far as lenses, etc, I'm still learning this stuff. I'm used to dealing with 16:9 and black bars in the past, on all my prior displays.
As far as screen gain, I haven't worked that out yet. Like I said, the room will have total light-control. The screen will be 8' (96") high as per your example. But again, I'm looking at the Variable Masking feature, and am pretty convinced we are going this direction. I do have much to learn though in this tier of equipment. I do want to see, say, at least 12ftL minimum; 6ftL is so weak, imho, I don't think I've experienced 20ftL so I can't speak to that with any credibiity. So anyway, I did have some concerns that the MICO 50 would be maxed-out at their recommended 200" maximum size. That did concern me.
FWIW, I come from the DLP side of the fence (inFocus Proj, and Samsung HL-S6767W HD RPTV) from a few years ago (though I have had plasma, too), so DLP doesn't affect me negatively as it does for others. Admittedly, this new theater we're spec'ing is a huge leap UP the scale for us, so I'm trying to learn as much as possible and make prudent choices. We're blessed with pretty much an open budget for this project; nevertheless, for me its "performance first"; no matter what the price-point, and still look at performance very closely in each category more than how many zeros are in the price of a given piece of gear to qualify its consideration. This system will be at a whole new level than anything I've had before.
Yes, I'm aware of the Anthem Proj being a tarted-up JVC (har!). Great looking display... unfortunately, not enough power for the size screen we're specing, or I'd snap one up. I'm really wanting to go 'cutting-edge' wherever it's warranted- which is kind of an oxymoron in this economy with fewer new high-ticket pieces being created & developed vs 5-10 yrs ago; on the flip side, I do like tried and true solutions as well. The key is finding the balance here.
I still might end up with a proj w/9" CRT's... and yes, the lamps do weaken over time (such a plus for the LED's) as do the DLP's, but wanting to go a more modern direction if possible. I was hoping to seize the moment with the DLP/LED technology now that the issue of grayscale & black levels seem to have finally been addressed and made acceptable, if not totally conquered. Knowing that CRT's still seem to be the bar for inky blacks & grayscale, but today's newer technologies are getting very very close, so we're looking fwd in tech, if possible. Will also be using an external scaler (Lumigen XE+ is the plan so far) 95+% probability on this issue.
I should start another thread on my HT subject, no thread hijack here intended, folks. Just not sure where to put it as it involves every aspect of it, but mainly the gear itself. Thus far the Sim2 MICO 50 had my complete attention, but I may have to look elsewhere. Hopefully it will be a DLP/LED based solution.