These are **great** printers for folks running 3rd party inks.
This is an excellent print engine, solidly built for long term production work. They are the last of the Epson Wide Format printers to allow access to a lot of the specialized maintenance menus.
It is easy to tell the machine to ignore chip settings so that you can use just about any carts that will fit in the machine. You can reset chips, reset the maintenance tank, reset all vof the counters relatively easily. It was both a Dye and Ultrachrome K2 machine, so you can switch to a 6 color dye mode with two black carts if you want (I ran a Claria-match dye ink set in one.)
They allow a relatively painless swap of Matte Black to Photo Black ink via the "South African" method. Basically you switch carts and just print out the remaining ink in the black line.
If you are running Cone or MIS black and white inks, or MIS pigment inks, or any third party or non-OEM ink sets, you can't beat the Epson 7600 for price and performance. Just buy a set of refillable wide format carts. No CIS, etc. to monkey with, and no small little 12ml ink carts, geez those are a PITA.
My dye ink set cost me $27 a liter, or about $.03 a ml. With Epson Premium Semi-Gloss in rolls as a proofing paper, an 18x24 costs just under $1 US, and a 24x36 is just under $2 US (at $.28 per square foot for the paper.) I used that for proofing and used another 7600 for final output with Epson inks.
There is also very little difference between the Epson 7600 and the Epson 7800 or 7880 in Matte Black. So if you are a Matte Black printer, buy this and save about $1,500. Or use it as a second machine and keep the 7800 for Photo Black only.
These machines are relatively easy to maintain. There is a lot of information out there. And the cost is basically the same as an Epson 2400!
I have 2 Epson 7600's and an Epson 9600 that I use for various inks and printing requirements (B&W, color proofing, final output, etc.) I paid $650 for my 7600's, so pricing is about correct. The only real negative is the size of the machine if you don't have a lot of space.
OK, no more sales pitch.
Good luck Ross!