You just have to be diligent in going for a "Golden Sample" when it comes to LCOS or LCD (though not a big fan of LCD anymore to be honest). When you compared your JVC to those DLP's, you really should have calibrated the gamma first (no offense meant). I spent 7 hours getting my JVC's gamma corrected the first time, it is that bad.
The JVC's OOTB GAMMA is UNIQUELY POOR and easily in the top 5 worst I've seen out of the last 20 projectors I've looked at. Gamma wholly affects the perception of contrast, the JVC's gamma causes bright scenes to be majorly washed out and dark scenes to be overly dark and lack shadow detail. The reason the Sony looks so much better in bright scenes than the JVC is because of the GAMMA curve. At first I thought it might be limited to my unit, but the fact is I've calibrated more than one JVC now and they had VERY similar problems, and I've calibrated my own JVC on a different lamp. There really is no GOOD default gamma setting on the JVC. If you pick one preset, it'll be a little better for SOME scenes, but still bad for others. The only thing you can really do in an uncalibrated A/B of the JVC, is to use the Gamma D preset which has better shadow detail, then adjust that by eye a little using the whitepoint adjustment. Even then the results are marginal at best and will not compete with a calibrated JVC. The problem is gamma curves are not one dimensional, but the appearance of contrast is also affected by color and luminance accuracy combining with the multi-point gamma as well. Even if you exaggerate brightness and contrast settings to try to "counteract" the JVC's "bad ANSI (gamma)", you are not fixing the gamma. All you are doing is making one scene possibly look better by inducing crush or blown whites, but when that scene changes any projector with a BAD gamma curve will then look even worse on the next scene.
This is why I sometimes ask people if they are good at calibrating or are planning on having their projectors calibrated, if both the answer to those questions is no, I often tell them to go for the Sony or a different projector with a FLAT gamma. Color is one thing, but bad GAMMA is just horrible and it ruins everything. The Sony has so much more accurate everything (Gamma, gray-scale, and the color triangle), that any uncalibrated JVC is going to be utterly destroyed by a Sony in a comparison. We are talking about one of the best calibrated OOTB vs. one of the worst (well there are some worse than the JVC, but if you count the default gamma of the JVC, I don't know, the JVC is pretty close to last here)..
The problem with the JVC is the gamma curve is a backwards S-curve which is curved in the opposite direction it should be. Then people compare it and immediately talk about BAD ANSI contrast, but the fact is that the JVC is one of the HARDEST projectors to A/B compare, and it really needs an expert calibrator to do it. At least as far as the gamma calibration goes, the JVC is the hardest to calibrate out of all the projectors I have ever had. Fixing the gamma issues on the JVC is no small undertaking.
I could never go back to a 720p DLP projector, for me the SDE is way too high for my seating distance (though I suppose the pixel fill on the higher-end ones was better than some). No 720p projector is going to out-weigh SDE to me.
In movies, the lens just isn't what people are making it to be for the average seating distance.if anything it matters more for me due to how close I sit. I do not think the small gain in sharpness for most movies is worth the huge loss in contrast with these DLP's. I feel differently with different content, as I guess it depends what you are watching. Though I suppose there are a couple or two Marantz / Planar / Runco that do ok, but really are we still talking about LCOS sharpness?
DLP has superior processing so that when image noise enters into the equation (even though some DLP's have more image noise), what happens is the image noise on DLP is spread out more evenly than on LCOS and it makes it easier for the eyes to absorb. The image noise almost appears to get "between" the pixels randomly on LCOS, like it is distorting the image causing it to be flatter looking. The pixel fill then causes the IMAGE to have more POP / Sharpness on a DLP sometimes, but bright-scene contrast and sharpness isn't usually that noticeable in movies (sometimes it is on reference level content). The pixel fill and image processing and the quality of the sharpening filters are usually more noticeable to me than a tiny boost in the lens. The exception is for reading text though.