Thanks for starting the thread!
I just changed from a 900u to the 1000u and I am, so far, very very happy with it. My HD-DVDs and Blu-Rays just -pop- with so much noticable detail it's amazing. Even 1080i HDTV looks significantly better. There's no doubt - 1080p with a large screen size is a HUGE difference over 720P. (I don't, however, see much difference with screen sizes below 42".) The "3d" look that you often see on smaller screens returns to the large-screen projected format with 1080p. I'm amazed how much detail i was missing.
I'm projecting from 11 feet away onto a 106" Carada Classic Cinema White screen. I'm inputting using HDMI and Component (for my Xbox 360.) I use C3 mode with (so far) no tweaks. I found C1/2 and the Color modes too dim. I'll tweak a bit when my HD-DVD DVE disc comes in, but I suspect not much tweaking will be needed. The performance out of the box is that good, and reviews seem to back that up.
I also use a Toshiba HD-A1, a Playstation 3, and a Comcast DVR box (3xxx).
In comparison to the 900u - specifically regarding brightness, I'd say both units are about the same. The 1000u is definitely brighter at 100 hours than my 900u was at 600 hours, but from memory the 900u was as bright when it was new. I ran the 900u on Normal and the 1000u on eco-mode. I run in a nearly completely light-controlled dedicated room. But with the brightness of C3 mode, I can have my overhead lights on dim and still get a solid picture. I prefer them all off for the best picture, obviously. "Normal" and especially "Dynamic" modes are brighter - to much brighter, but at the expense of color quality.
Comparing the 900u in black levels and contrast - the 1000u is definitely better. The detail in darker areas of the picture, specifically, is -much- better than the 900. Where I used to see fields of black I now see detail. Overall black levels are noticably better, too. I am very impressed with the contrast improvements over my 900u, which I already thought was superb.
Regarding the UltimateAV review.. I have questioned the difference between the ECO and Normal lamp modes myself. I cannot tell -any- difference between the two modes. I keep it on ECO as a result. Does anyone else see this behavior? The reviewer sure did. I suspect ECO mode is locked-in too, perhaps because of a FW bug.
EDIT: After 20 hours, the focus has gone crazy (I can no longet get even focus across the screen... the left side, especially the lower left, is always blurry), and I have a dust blob.
I'm working with the dealer now.