Three worthy Projectors:
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720
Each of these three projectors offers native HD performance (720p) for less than a thousand dollars. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, which may help you to decide which one to get.
Mitsubishi HC1600 – Offers a very bright image and excellent contrast (side to side brightness consistency). It however suffers from a slow 2x color wheel. This means that some viewers may see rainbows in the image, making for an unpleasant viewing. Faster color wheels all but prevent this, something the other two options offer. While this isn’t a deal breaker, and may not affect anyone in your audience, it is something to be aware of. (Approx $630 new)
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720 – This projector takes the cake for all around performance in this group. It has the highest contrast, offers the brightest image, and is extremely flexible in its throw distance. The Cinema 720 will be the most expensive of the three, but may be worth it for those with larger or longer rooms, as the generous throw distance means that user will have more options on how far they want to mount the projector from the screen. (Approx $1000 new)
Optoma HD65 – Is the best all around projector for those on a budget. It offers very accurate colors and is the only projector I could verify supports native 24 frames per second play back, which is what blu rays play at – a huge plus for any movie buff. Two drawbacks are that you will need a light controlled room, as ambient light will wash out the image more noticeably than the other two projectors, and the throw distance has a very limited range, meaning that those with longer or larger rooms may have to mount the projector closer to the screen than desirable. (Approx $700 new)