I completely agree on the ink cost issue. The 3800 is the way to go.
I left my 3800 printer unused for two months this summer and it printed perfectly when I turned it on afterward.
I have just finished testing the 3880 and my review will be online later in the week. The Vivid Magenta K3 inks do have a wider gamut than those on the 3800, and the printer also is capable of slightly better dithering and thus slightly smoother images, but the differences aren't that great.
Thanks to everyone for all this useful information. I will be receiving an Epson 3880 in a few days and have a few related questions:
- Cover: Is it worth getting the somewhat expensive cover for the 3800/3880 ?
- Stand-by: Should you leave the printer on standby when gone for a month/a few days/a day? I would like to save energy, but realize that the printer might do some useful automatic head checks when in stand-by mode.
- Epson Cold Press/Hot Press paper: Does anyone have experience with these papers and ideas how they would fare in the Epson 3880? I realize that paper choice is highly subjective, but since I have not been able to sample them myself I am curious what others think. Till I get my hands on them I will probably stick with Ilford Gold Fibre Silk, Moab Entrada and Epson Velvet, depending on what I print.
- 17x25: Anyone with connections to the paper industry, please encourage them to give us more options in 17"x25" cut sheet. Are there any good and reasonably priced companies that will custom cut (and straighten) roll-paper? Since the Epson 3800/3880 does not have a vacuum feed system - is there any concerns with using paper that is not perfectly flat in these printers?