Very nice post, Peter. I am in a quite similar mindset.
I'll be interested to see what Bridgman, mdrew, sirquack and others say about this.
I've had good information gathering experiences at the AVS forum. Also liked my initial contact with ProjectorPeople.com. Finally, don't forget about the calculators and other resources at projectorcentral.
I'm gravitating towards the Mitsubishi HD1000U. The DLP's don't have the placement flexibility that LCD's do, but depending upon your room, it might not matter.
I'm pretty sold on doing a DIY screen (because I want to and I'm cheap) using the Wilsonart Designer Grey laminate. Probably about 102" diag at 12.5 feet viewing distance. Again, DIY screen forum at AVS.
We are a whole community of "that guy" - StPatGuy