Thanks for asking about people's experiences with the Epson 7900!
I was particularly curious, because I too was on the verge of purchasing an Epson 7900. After reading an awful lot of postings, both here and elsewhere, on people's experiences with various 24" printers, I came to some conclusions:
It seems that a certain percentage of Epson 7900s don't come out of the factory quite right. My impression is that the design is a bit fragile, in the sense that the manufacturing process has to go just right, or else the printer will have problems with clogs, air leaks in the ink tubes, or excessive head cleaning. Probably most 7900s are fine, but a significant percentage are not. Almost everyone who is happy with their Epson 7900 has turned automatic head cleaning off.
It also seems that Epson's service varies in both responsiveness and competence, depending on where you are located, and on which technician you happen to get.
So, I tried an experiment.
I called up my friendly sales rep, and ask him to order an Epson 7900, but only if I could have a guarantee that I could have the entire machine swapped out if it turned out that I happened to get one of the ones that wasn't put together quite right, and which also couldn't be satisfactorily repaired by Epson within about three months. I explained that I didn't care if the guarantee came from Epson, or from them.
I heard back today.
Epson Canada assures me that their normal guarantee covers all of my concerns. Nevertheless, they are unwilling to guarantee a machine replacement in the event that it turns out that they are unable to make my new printer work properly.
My local dealer (The Camera Store in Calgary) also assured me that they will work hard to ensure that I don't end up with a lemon. However, they can't afford to guarantee a machine replacement if it turns out that Epson can't make the printer work right.
So the Epson 7900 is a no-go.
I looked at some other printers too. The Canon IPF6100 is a fine printer, and is about $2,200, vs $3,400 for the Epson. I might get one of them. People seem to report fewer problems with ink clogs with the Canon, than with the Epson, particularly those living in a dry climate, or who print only occasionally. The major problem with the Canon seems to be that the heads may need replacement in a year or two, at a cost of about $1,000. The print quality is not quite up to the Epson 7900, and the design is now three years old. Canon's web site is a disaster, and it is sometimes tough to find a Canon profile for any given paper.
At this point though, I'm thinking that the Epson 7900 was announced almost two years ago, and that Epson seems to have about a three year cycle between large format printer designs. Although I'm a fussy printer, and like to print everything myself, I might just wait a while, and see what comes down the pike in the next year.
Canon is due for a new printer announcement.
HP might decide to become a serious player again in the large format printer market.
Epson might fix the 7900 design.
Until then, I might just keep sending my large format stuff out for printing.
I'm curious whether my conclusions resonate with others.