Perhaps Mark could be persuaded to conduct a cost analysis on ink usage for the new Canon.
Brian, yes - if I buy this printer and if its ink consumption data allows, I would certainly be cloning my costing model and starting it over for this printer. That said, let me make three preliminary observations.
(1) From what I hear and read, this printer will be SUBSTANTIALLY more expensive than an Epson 4800. Here in Canada there is a price blitz on the 4800 - obviously someone knows what's around the corner and they're trying to sustain sales. This is good competition. Perhaps it could induce Canon AT LEAST to include the roll paper holder as standard equipment covered in the base price and not a 300 dollar option. Even with that however, Canon will still be costlier than the competition.
Which brings me to point (2): their printer would need to have clear aesthetic, operational and economic advantages over the 4800 to make the investment differential worthwhile. On the aesthetic side, we'll all be best informed with Michael's testing and observations, and we all know this will be done with the seriousness and thoroughness it deserves. On the operational side, the fact that this printer allows one to change media without wasting 150 dollars of ink (Epson) round trip could already justify the investment for those who like to switch media. The number of times one needs to make the round-trip between media depends on the investment cost differential between the SP4800 and the IPF5000. But just for example - to put some initial dimensioning on it: assuming roughly a 1200 price difference between the two machines roller included, (a difference that will slide around as competition evolves) one only needs 4 round-trips a year over 2 years to make it worth buying the Canon, and that excludes the value of time spent nursing the Epson through the flushing process.
Point (3), and this is really important as my very recent experience on the 4800 is showing, the all-in cost of ink can be very sensitive to the usage pattern of the printer - not in respect of the cost of ink solely used on paper - that remains quite stable in my case at about 0.65 ml per 54 sq. in of Enhanced Matte coverage, but in respect of clogging and cleaning. Based on the Epson experience, I would want to use any new machine under varying operational intervals over a period of three to six months at least to get a reliable fix on clogging and cleaning, which can heavily impact on overall ink consumption per unit of production. Going back to where I started, if I buy this machine and the data allows, I shall do exactly that.