So I finally finished my theater and for the last 8 weeks I've watched at least one movie (or sporting event) a night.
The questions I had going in about the Sony hw50 have all been answered:
1.) Is it bright enough to fill a 150" diagonal 16:9 screen?
ANSWER: Yes, easily.
2.) Is is bright enough to fill a 150" 16:9 in 3D?
ANSWER: Yes. This is the one I was worried about, but honestly it's great in 3D. I wouldn't trade screen size for more brightness. 3D is so much better BIG. The 3D on this projector is WAAAAAAY better than 3D in the theater. It's not as bright as 2D obviously, but you don't even notice because the 3D is so amazing.
I will have to replace the bulb sooner than most people but that's a small price to pay for such an awesome 3D experience. Everyone who sees the 3D cannot believe how cool it is, me included. I only watch 3D movies that were shot native in 3D.
Side note: I find the $20 PS3 glasses better than the glasses that come with the projector (less crosstalk, brighter image). I also use the external 3D emitter and have had 8 pairs of glasses synced for entire movies with zero issues.
3.) Can you sit 1 screen width away with such a large screen without seeing pixelation, SDE, etc?
ANSWER: Yes (but only with 1080p content). Even 1080i (which is what our cable is broadcast in here in NZ) starts to look a little rough sitting so close, but blu-rays look incredible.
4.) Does RC improve sharpness on such a large screen, and not look fake, pixelated, noisy, etc?
ANSWER: Yes (caveat: RC works best with new releases. Older movies that contained more grain and don't have as naturally sharp a picture sometimes look better with RC turned lower or off). Having said that, I never turn it off (have it set at 30 and noise reduction at 50) I just adjust it occasionally.
Here's some photos of my theater. If anyone has any questions about the Sony or my theater build (i did it myself) then please ask. The help provided by AVS was invaluable in the whole process. So thanks.