It depends on your lighting situation. I have a black theater in my basement and I am using a Panasonic PT-AE900U and it looks better than any standard set on the market at 120" inches (Yes, any plasma, lcd, dlp, etc..). I have a stewart firehack screen(I paid 2000), but elite makes a great fixed wall screen for about 500. I bought this for my dad then wished I had got it for me.
The new model of mine is the Panasonic PT-AX100U and it one of the top rated 720p/1080i projectors. I play PS3, 360, Blu-Ray, DVDs, and live TV on mine and they all look good. Panasonic is one of the top rated for the range of input quality. It can play 480i and 720p and make them both look great. Most HD projectors suck at standard def. You can get a Panasonic PT-AX100U for about 1300 with rebate offers that run all the time.
If you are going to put a projector in a highly lit room than you will have to spend more money. Also, all projectors go through bulbs about every 2000 hrs or so. Depending on make and model. They usually range from 300-500 bucks. Typically that is about every two years for an avid media guy like myself. Check out these two sites for reviews and prices.http://www.projectorcentral.com/home...projectors.htmhttp://www.visualapex.com/
- This is where I got mine and it came very quickly and the customer service is really friendly.
Things to remember. Projectors don't have sound so you will need a reciever and speakers. Then send the video from the receiver to the projector. Screens are important, as much so as the projector. Mounting a projector on the ceiling is your best bet and a good mount is about 100 bucks. In the end though a quality projector produces some of the best video you will ever see.