Yes to all of the above. The point to add is the complexity of the size of pigment grinds for the litho thermal heads as compared to the Epson Peizo electro mechanical heads. The amount of pigment load permit quite different ink TAC separations.
There are ways of extracting the raw plots from GutenRip, even create your own separations.
HP have their own ways of plotting the raw and separated solid and 3D combinations.
I would like to see a device N rip for both the Canon and HP. At least the ImagePrint rip is able to rasterize to high bit screens something I would have like to seen in a plug in or eventually in MacOs X.5 and or Vista, taking advantage of the operating system capabilities. I am not saying it won't happen, just would have like to see a roll out of the best printers packed with the highest end and newest technology software wise.
Just the same I am as you are enjoying discovering this printers capabilities, especially when it's to print real images rather than test charts and profile charts.
Of course the balancing act between 200/100 years fade resistance, particle size/chemical structure, encapsulation, chroma, transparency, suitable ink medium, fast stabilisation of color and the thermal pump function is something they have to build on. When I received the printer two weeks ago the messages here were not encouraging, after comparing by eye the target sheets made with the new litho-realistic media profile and the one made with fine art>250 gsm media profile both on HPR I knew that it wasn't the end of the world, no real fundamental problem.
Since WasatchInc announced the 16 bit upgrade of the SoftRip I check their pages twice a week for the Z3100 drivers. For a long time I thought I would never buy another upgrade.
Every day I see some engineering tricks or assume they are implanted when I compare the solutions of the Epson models and the HP. The price of the roll spindles + adapters is nice, I guess they made a friction control for the different papers at the right side of the spindles and by that made more gradual changes possible and a high tension spindle obsolete. I'm new to HP printers so a bit naive :-) It is seldom that I think it was better on my old printers. Even the paper loading that I didn't trust much is better than expected.
try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]