The story with the PLV-Z700 compared to the Panasonic is similar to the Epson Home Cinema 6100. In this case, though, the Panasonic has a brightness advantage. I expect, however, to see the Sanyo stake out the position of least expensive projector, although right now it's also officially $1995, five hundred less than the Panasonic.
The Sanyo is sharp, but it is an entry level 1080p, and its black levels are more on par with the older Panasonic than the significantly improved PT-AE3000U. Feature wise, they are similar in placement flexibility, but the Sanyo, like the Epson lacks all those new features, including 96/120fps frame rates.
More so than the Epson, price will be a key determining factor between the Sanyo PLV-Z700 and the PT-AE3000U.
PT-AE3000 vs. InFocus IN83 and IN82
The InFocus IN82 is an older projector, and a classic DLP projector. It's sharp, has limited placement flexibility (no lens shift, 1.2:1 zoom), is larger, but more importantly is is a step up in brightness. Its black levels though, are no match for the PT-AE3000U, and it lacks the frame interpolation and 96/120fps frame rate, as well as the anamorphic features.
Of greater interest is the IN83, which is about twice the price of the Panasonic, but a step up from the IN82. The InFocus has a superb image, with the best skin tones around, but its black levels are not a match for the Panasonic. Still, it is a great projector that, thanks to lots of lumens (more than double the Panasonic), can handle larger screens effortlessly, that the Panasonic could not begin to tackle
PT-AE3000 vs. JVC DLA-RS1x, DLA-RS10 and DLA-RS20
Ahh! I own the older version of the DLA-RS1x - the RS1. When released, it was picked by most reviewers as the best projector under $10,000, thanks to breakthrough black level performance, and almost perfect out of the box colors. The newer RS1x has more color control than the RS1.
The RS1x has almost identical placement flexibility as the Panasonic. Despite the higher claim by the Panasonic for contrast, the RS1x is still a cut above in black levels. You can see the side by side comparison on the Image page. The RS1x can muster up a lot more lumens in best mode, but has slightly less in brightest.
The Panasonic may have all those new features, that the RS1x lacks, but the JVC may well still be the favorite for the purists and enthusiasts.
Then there's the DLA-RS2, with even better contrast and black levels, than the RS1x, but less lumens. In fact it is only slightly brighter than the PT-AE3000U, and is a notch down in brightness when comparing brightest modes. The RS2 is about twice the price of the Panasonic.
JVC just announced the DLA-RS10 and DLA-RS20. These are similar to the RS1x and RS2 respectively but with some differences, and higher still claimed contrast. The RS20 looked sensational at CEDIA, but is also much more expensive than the Panasonic. Actually all the JVCs are more expensive than the PT-AE3000U.
I plan a blog shortly on the newer JVC's and an RS20 should be arriving shortly for review.