yes, I'd say figure out if you can get a closer match with paper simulation deselected in the softproof settings.
By now, as you've mentioned above, the prints get too dark compared to the display when you set the softproof without paper simulation.
If this is true, decrease the luminance level of your monitor a little bit so that monitor white matches at least the brightness level of your paper under your prefered viewing conditions.
Whether you get a closer match with or without "black ink" you have to see. In my experience on very good linearized displays it's better to select "black ink" simulation as it reproduces the contrast range of the print on the monitor.
If this doesn't turn out to be an improvement switch back to the setting you are currently working with as it obviously works good for you.
Have fun :-)
My memory has been jogged. I bought the Eye-One with i1Match software over 4 years ago. The colorimeter comes with a plastic cap which clips over the sensors when measuring the ambient temperature. My first few calibrations would have been in 'advanced' mode, selecting 'native white point'. This option requires one to go through the procedure of taking an ambient temperature reading before sticking the colorimeter on the middle of the screen. That cap is a hassle to prise off.
I would have initially ticked the 'reminder' box. The maximum reminder period is no more than one month. That's too fussy for me. At some point, to save unnecessary hassle, I would have switched to 'easy' mode which gave me equally good results, and have stuck with that mode for the past few years, although I now don't bother recalibrating every month as recommended. You might recall the monitor profile I sent you was dated July 2009. A recalibration every 3 months I think is good enough.
Now, what happens when I adjust the monitor before calibration, in an attempt to match the paper white in my ambient lighting conditions with the pure white of a new document in Photoshop on the monitor?
Almost complete disaster! . Although I'm working in an open area with just the natural daylight through the windows, the ambient temperature of my environment is very warm, according to i1. As low as 3900K. I presume the reason for this is that much of my interior walls consist of varnished timber which is rather reddish yellow.
If I have a near-perfect match with my monitor settings at maximum RGB brightness, which I do, then any changes to the monitor settings prior to calibration are likely to result in a worse match, wouldn't you say?
First of all, it's not really possible in my circumstances to get a precise match between monitor white and paper white, probably because I have no adjustment of the individual RGB channels. Selecting the monitor's preset 5000K seems about as close as I can get for Epson Enhanced Matte. The resulting calibration using the monitor's 5000K preset, produces an image in proof setup, with simulate black ink, which looks in daylight like the print looks in warm, artificial light in the evening.
Now, that's not a bad appearance. I quite like it. But it's not a good match between monitor preview and print under the same ambient lighting conditions. However, if a client were to request a print which would only be viewed in the usual warm lighting conditions of the average home in the evenings, and if I were only prepared to work during the day with my current setup, then that monitor profile would be ideal for that specific purpose, would it not? I could even show the client on the monitor in the daytime what his print would look like in his requested viewing conditions in the evening.
Which brings me to a related issue. If you are producing prints under controlled lighting conditions, in a viewing booth for example, then ideally such prints should always be viewed under the same or similar lighting conditions, give or take a reasonable margin of error. Now, this may be possible in a gallery or museum, but is unlikely to be the situation in people's homes. In fact, one of the beauties of the print, as opposed to the monitor, is the way a print's appearance will change so easily in accordance with changing lighting conditions. The hues and shades of a print on your wall, viewed in the natural light of a bright day, will differ considerably when viewed in the evening; will differ again in the subdued lighting suitable for watching TV, and yet again when having a candle-light dinner. Is this not the case?
I still believe that whatever your viewing environment, the most important thing is the match between monitor preview and print, not whether you have a viewing booth, or work in the evening with D50 or D65 artificial lighting, or whether your walls are white, off-white or cream etc.