I am so glad I came across this thread because it represents my situation exactly. I have just completed basement renovations and my equipment was just recently ordered. I am now in the position to order my projector and screen. Without going any further, let me give you all the conditions in the basement:
The basement will be a mix between a home theater and entertainment room. There are 2 small windows but light control is very achievable since I plan to put blinds that will cut out maximum light. The ceiling color is a flat shade of grey and the walls are a darker grey. The ceiling almost looks white when you compare it to the walls. I have 94" ceilings and the projector will be ceiling mounted just shy of 15' from the screen. There will only be 1 row of seating and it will be located about 12.5' from the screen. The screen size I have planned for is 125"-128" (16:9). Most viewing will be at night time for movies but I will also have some casual viewing where some recessed lights will be on slightly. Of course, there will also be sports parties (Superbowl and others) so I will be sometimes viewing in daytime or with lights pretty much fully on.
Taking all this into consideration, what would you all suggest is the best projector for me? Please note that my current TV (which I will keep in the den) is a Pioneer Elite Pro 101-FD (50") so I am a little spoiled with amazing black levels and picture quality. Will I be disappointed with any of these 2 models or will the size increase just completely make me forget. If there is one thing that will annoy me, it has to be watching a movie in the dark (majority of the cases) and the lack of black in the bars (assuming 2:35 or 4:3 source), to the point where they seem a light shade of grey. Now I understand that I cannot have it all at this price level and considering the expenses I have had to build the basement and assemble the equipment, there is not much room for an expensive projector and screen. This is also going to be my first projector so I am new to the whole thing, therefore willing to accept something that is not the best right off the bat.
Now you all have my situation in a nutshell, if I have forgotten something, let me know and I will provide the details. All I need now is to get feedback on what people (and hopefully users) think is the projector that best suits my needs. If there are other projectors to consider, I am also open to suggestions beyond the 2 models in question. I am looking to make the purchase in the next 1-1.5 months. Let the fun begin!!!