The HC3000, now nearing the end of its life, originally sold for close to $3000. These days, though it can be found for close to $1500. What you get for your money if you choose the HC3000, is especially excellent black levels, and shadow details that are a full step up in quality from the HD1000U. You also get a projector of more average brightness, not being able to match the HD1000U. I suspect the HC3000's sales will suffer a bit due to the HD1000U, as many will save five hundred, and still get a projector with similar overall performance and "feel", by basically sacrificing only on black levels and shadow detail.
Tthe HD1000U turns out to be a rather excellent value, regardless of the competition.and surpasses another well established bright projector, the Optoma HD72, which is also DLP, and more similar to the HD1000U overall. Then there's another projector of note, Optoma's new entry level $999 HD70, which we haven't reviewed yet, certainly, it is less expensive, but may lack the video performance, starting with the HD70's 8 bit processing, compared to 10 bit processing on the HD1000U (and most projectors). (Editors note: The HD70 has since been reviewed) -art.
Epson Cinema 400
The Epson Cinema 400, like the Panasonic PT-AX100U is significantly brighter in brightest mode, but alternately, the HD1000U is brighter than the Epson, with both in their best modes. (Cinema for the HD1000U, Theater Dark 1 and 2 for the Epson.) Epson has more range in its zoom, plus lens shift. On the other hand, the Epson is particularly noisy in its other modes. As a typical LCD projector, the pixels are more visible on the Epson, so most people would sit a little further back to avoid pixel visibility and screen door effect. The Epson sells for a bit more, but has a better warranty. The Epson would also be a logical alternative to those bothered by the rainbow effect.