Looking through the various posts, I'm not sure we ever fully answered Luxborealis's three questions, so I'll make a go of it here.
So, this begs three questions:
How much of your decision about which printer to purchase is based on print permanence? Should we collectively be placing more emphasis on it that we have been?
When I choose papers I generally consider several factors not always in this order: 1) price and availability 2) surface finish (i.e, gloss/matte level and texture), 3) media color (cool, neutral, or warm) and brightness/lightness values), 4) Dmax/Lmin, 5) Color gamut with chosen printer and inks 6) media thickness/flexibility 7) any available print permanence data.
Image content plus intended purpose for the final print (i.e, is it going on the family fridge or into a gallery for sale) influence how I weight these factors into my final decision.
Because knowledgeable printmakers can discern the first six factors on their own, meaningful results on print permanence remain the toughest information to obtain. I believe that if print permanence information was more readily available, more printmakers would act on the information.
Are those who use Epson (including myself) at a significant disadvantage? If by recommending Epson, are we putting brand name ahead of the real-life data? Or is print permanence really not an issue? i.e. Is 45 years for Canson Baryta long enough? (99 years under UV filtered glass).
Although both WIR and Aardenburg data suggest that we can rank order HP Vivera pigment inks (both versions) as the most stable on average, Canon Lucia (three versions) second, and Epson Ultrachrome k3/k3vm/HDR (they share a common yellow ink) as third in overall lightfastness, there is significant overlap in system performance when we also factor in what media are chosen. In other words, casually choosing a paper for an HP can sometimes lead to inferior print permanence results compared to wisely choosing a paper for an Epson printer.
Additionally, by the time fine art inkjet prints land in a gallery, the print permanence information is usually applied in very general "catch all" phrases like "archival pigment print on 100% cotton paper". I rarely see the specific printer, ink, and paper combination identified although a discriminating collector might eventually inquire about this information when deciding to buy a print. I've also never seen pigmented inkjet prints identified as pigment-dye hybrid systems which is what they really are when the paper contains OBAs. Hence, I would have to say for all practical purposes you are not at a disadvantage using any of the major OEM pigmented ink sets these days. All that said, I do believe printmakers should be trying to choose printers, inks, and media wisely if they are concerned about print durability, and that's why Aardenburg, WIR, and one or two other labs do what we do.
How much of your decision regarding paper is based on print permanence? I realize that there is more to paper-selection than permanence (e.g. D-max,base colour, etc.; the paper has to suit the photo), but I notice, for e.g. that Canson RC paper has longer permanence (Satin = 88 years) than Rag Photographique (69 years), Platine (53 year) or Baryta (45 years) - three favourites of the print-selling crowd. Obviously, UV filtration makes a huge difference, but overall permanence is still relatively longer with RC.
In my case, I do place considerable emphasis on print permanence in my choice of media when purchasing expensive fine art papers and canvas media. I believe other printmakers would too if they had more access to good information. What I don't do is obsess about longevity ratings expressed in "display years" because the results are at best only crudely relative not absolute. They don't tell us about non linear fade rates, or how the appearance of fade manifests itself as different systems reach noticeable fade levels (e.g., some systems show color balanced fading, others show selective losses in specific colors/tones). Moreover, it's very easy for the informed collector to radically alter the print longevity outcome. Consumers who take these "lifetime" ratings as absolutes are largely ignorant of the environmental control they can exert over the predicted lifetime. The end-user's actual chosen display environment can alter the outcome by three orders of magnitude. Thus, a print rated at 250 years and placed on display in one part of a home may fade faster than a print rated at 25 years if it's displayed in another part of the same house. This is why AaI&A reports exposure dose ratings and not display life ratings. I leave it to the end-user to extrapolate the exposure ratings to display years based on his/her own assessment of the real-world environmental light levels. It's not hard to do, and it is much more informative.