The Sony VPL-VW600ES is awesome. That about covers it. Not perfect, merely awesome. A year and a half ago, I described Sony's first (and higher end) 4K projector, the VW1000ES as: "The Holy Grail of Home Theater Projectors."
Well, the VW600ES is still a minor step down, compared to the VW1000ES/VW1100ES, so I can't call it the holy grail, but as far as I'm concerned, its the next best thing. In fairness, I can't get SIM2 or Runco to lend me any of their high end projectors (over $30,000) to compare it to, and there is a whole lot to be said about big, powerful 3 chip DLP projectors, but I cannot imagine that I would prefer any of them, until those guys make them 4K resolution. I've reviewed, over the years, several of those companies projectors that were in the $20-$30K range. No way I would want one of those over this merely $15,000 Sony.
But every projector has its downsides, it's just that the VW600ES's primary downside is something that only time heals. That would be the price. Let's face it, 10 years ago the typical "lower cost" 720p home theater projector was $5000. 1080p? good luck in finding them. Then five years or so ago, we started buying relatively entry level 1080p projectors for $3000+ Today, 1080p projectors start under $1000 for some respectable gear, and serious home theater at 1080p resolution is in the $2000 - $5000 range. No doubt in 3-4 years, we'll have a choice of $5000 (or less) 4K projectors, but that's how it works. BTW, back in 2000-2001, my old company was selling 42" plasma TVs for "only" $25,000. Today - $499 (and higher resolution).
So, for those of us on limited budgets, the biggest issue with the VW600ES is that we can't afford it. Certainly, I'd love to own this projector, but I'll have to settle for waiting a couple more years or so, until Sony, or someone else, has a killer.
There's competition out there around the price, I just can't, myself, see any of them being real competition in terms of what I value most. SIM2's $19,999 Nero 3D2 was nice enough, but no match in resolution, nor brightness. Runco's LS10 - $27,000+ with outboard processor certainly is a great projector, and I can even think of a couple of things that it probably can outdo the Sony on, but as a 1080p projector, no way I would consider it personally, even if it was the same price. JVC's new X900R projector for $11,999 with it's tremendous native contrast, and "hand picked" components, is a superb projector (based on last year's - we haven't gotten in one of these yet). It will have better blacks, for example, but the Sony's black level performance is still pretty darn good, and I would recommend true 4K as far more valuable than those improved blacks. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Disclosure: Of these more expensive projectors; this Sony, the high end JVC, the Runcos and SIM2s, I can say than none of those four companies has advertised with us, with the exception (probably 5 years ago) when JVC ran a small campaign over 3 months. In other words, no one's buying my vote.
That's it folks! Time will create better, and more affordable projectors, but if you time is now, and you can rationalize the price of the Sony's VPL-VW600ES, it should be at the top of your list. I really do not want to return this projector to Sony. This is about as good as home theater projectors get to be.