I've had an older version of the Panasonic (700u) unit for 2 years now, it was one of the first units with the dynamic iris that allowed the LCD's to really compete head to head with the DLP projectors. It's been an excellent projector overall.
My only warning to folks looking at a projector for the first time is to make sure you have a good line interactive or online UPS for it, the bulb is VERY sensitive to power fluxuations. At $200-$400 a pop, you really want to get the maximum life out of the bulb.
I'm going to be moving up to 1080p here in the next year or so, now that good 1080p projectors can be bought for $3k or so (what I paid for my 720p projector 2 years ago). I'd suggest anyone seriously in the market look at those units, big jump in image quality for the money.
Just go to AVSForum.com and look at any thread concerning Sanyo's Z1 thru Z3 projectors. They have a problem which they will overheat causing blue spots to appear on screen and Sanyo refuses to honor their 3 year warranty, instead blaming the customer for not cleaning the filters enough even if you clean it once a day. They'll even email you phony pictures of your alleged dirty filters that look like they've been dumped into a sandbox. I'm currently preparing to sue them after my state's consumer affairs department got snubbed by them and has prepared a document package for me to subpoena into court.
Why there was no DLP projectors for comparison in this article?
I sampled a $990 Optoma HD-70 to a Sanyo Z4 ($1,400 at the time) and there was no comparison. Watching HDTV/DVD/BD/HDDVD the black levels on the DLP projector were far better than the Z4's, looking much more natural.