Help selecting a video projector

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I need to make a quick decision regarding selection of an
entry-level LCD projector. I'm used to doing plodding
research stretched over days or weeks, but in this case
there's no time. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Purpose : Mainly week-long seminars/training/conferences
conducted 3-4 times a year. Possibly occasional use for
other purposes in between. Small auditoriums of perhaps
1000 sq. ft.

Budget : Not rigidly fixed but preferably in the $1000-1500

I believe Sharp is a prominent brand. How do other brands
like Panasonic and Sony compare for the same price class ?
Please consider all the usual factors like picture quality,
reliability, ease of use, useful features, etc. If possible,
please cite specific models.

(I understand features such as ANSI lumens, keystone
correction, resolution, fan noise, lamp life, video input
sources and so on.)

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