...what's the difference, aside from cost?

I mean, it seems like the only reason for the price upgrade between the two is a result of the 1000 having the abalone binding/inlays, and slightly different hardware color.

Other than that, they both seem to have the same pickups, dimensions, woods, etc.

Can anyone confirm this observation for me? If not, could you please explain anything else that warrants a price difference of about $150? Thanks!
TonePro bridge systems, binding, inlays, body material.

Certain models are a fair bit different in their components, some not so much. Quality is probably the same, just the 1000 series is more ornate. Personally, I like ESP/LTD and I find the 1000s to be quite qawdy.

There is no need for a guitar to have that much binding, just looks silly IMO.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
You say the bridge systems differ. Would you say they differ enough to make a noticable difference in playability or sustain? The EC-1000 interested me, but as you've stated I am beginning to find its looks a tad overdone, and it seems like the 500 would serve me just as well for less cost.
Personally, I question the whole tonepros=sustain thing. I guess it does something, but whether you're going to hear or feel it I doubt. It is nice to not have your bridge move when all the strings are off, but being careful is free.

In the case of the EC, you get the maple top too which is purdy, and is probably thick enough to impact the tone ever so slightly. Also locking tuners which are nice but not really necessary.

If it were my choice, I'd get the 500 (In white, w/EMGs & 18v mod ).
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
Thank you for your response, jm.

One more question for you, if you wouldn't mind

Do you think the EMGs on this guitar would be wasted on me, as all I really do is learn/practice in my bedroom, since volume is an issue and I suck too much to play out in the scary wilderness of civilization I plan on getting a Roland Cube 20x soon, so what I'm wondering is if that will make a difference when in conjunction with the EMG pickups?
IMHO, you never need a reason to rock EMGs

But, if there is a significant price difference between the 500 and 400, and you're not going to be doing much besides bedroom gigging, much as I like EMGs, there is no real reason to spend the extra money.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"