I should mention I plan on doing a fair amount of B&W printing, maybe to the tune of around a third of all my printing. So if the 1280 holds it's own on those, that's definitely a plus!
I did a real quick (color) test print with the 1280 verses the HP 7150 on (Red River) UltraPro Satin, and so far the 1280 beats the HP as far as matching what I see on my LCD, but if I use HP paper in the 7150, then it's an even closer match. Finally got my order of Epson paper, so I'll see how the 1280 does on that.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the ColorLife paper is available any more (unless they changed it's name), so whatever the life is on other "standard" papers will have to do. Hopefully, they'll give me at least 5 years before noticable fading. What is everyone's experience as far as fading? It sounds like it's a problem, but given reasonable storage conditions (like out of direct sunlight), are prints pretty good for a year, two years, five years, etc?
The friend that sold me the 1280 did some comparisons between it and his new HP B9180 and concluded there is detail improvement with the 9180, but you have to look really close to see it. The biggest difference he found was in the color gamut, which was increasing detail in certain objects (like pine trees). Clearly, the B9180 has a far wider gamut.
Still, if the print life isn't too horrible, then I guess the 1280 isn't ready to be thrown out just yet.