Sorry I never got back to you about the PQ of XBR970 question you had for me (in response to a post I made a week or so ago). I have been so busy I have not really been able to spend time on computer or mess around on my new tv. But quickly, the pq on standard defintion cable tv is soft and looks washed, but not as bad as I had thought it would. I have no issues watching sd cable for the moment as it looked as good as it did on my old tv (maybe a couple of stations look worse but no big deal). BR movies at 1080i over PS3 through HDMI, dvds upconverted to 1080i look very good and sharp to my eyes. I did not notice any geometry issues. I hope that helps. If you need more info please feel free to ask me,
I hope you don't give up on the projector idea. It seems like it might be the most practical choice as far as space goes. Plus, you seem to really like that one model (mitsubishi, right?) I love my xbr970, but man is it bulky not to mention heavy. I use it as a bedroom tv but had to rearrange the entire house and remove the bedroom door just to get it in my room. Which I am sure you agree may be an impossibility in a small dorm room with roommate(s) unless you have a free and large corner of room.
Enjoy your years at college. I hope you do get the opportunity to explore home theater while you're there. It seems to be directly related to the field you'll be studying. I don't need to tell you how much the worlds of home audio/video and gaming have merged and knowlege/experience in both can only serve to further give you an edge in your future career. And having a love for sci-fi, fantasy, video games, video tech, etc., does not automatically mean you have to miss out on all of the other great stuff college has to offer...I am sure that you'd "get out of the room" from time to time and make the most of your years there.
Good luck to you in your search for that right hdtv/projector/monitor. I know how much you have researched this and how frustrating it can be to go back and forth between models. Just remain persistent. It will all work out. As you have already found out, the price of the xbr970 which returned briefly to its higher price has already dropped again. It sounds like you're aware of one of the most important issues in this matter....finding a college and tract/major to pursue.
Never let the dream die....James