The trade-off between these two projectors is primarily one of price versus performance. Overall I consider the Home Cinema 8500UB to be the better projector. It has a distinct advantage in terms of brightness, and a very visible advantage in black level performance, although the Sanyo's black level performance is still very good. Still, the Epson's black levels are more typical of $5000+ projectors and better than many of those.
Price is not much of an issue. Yes, you'll probably pay $250 - $350 more for the Epson, but with the savings on lamps, over time, if anything the Epson is almost certain to cost less of the life of the projector.
When it comes to wanting an anamorphic lens, of course that eliminates the Epson (or requires you spend about $800 more for an outboard processor to support the lens, or about the same to go with the Pro Cinema 9500UB). For those who really value CFI, at the moment, the two projectors offer about similar performance for sports, with the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB having a slight edge. While I'm not a big fan of CFI with film based movies, if you are working from 24fps on blu-ray, the Epson can apply CFI, the Sanyo cannot.