That's exactly your (all out of warranty X900 users) dilemma, sfblue. That's why this thread. That's why I just spent my new-puppy savings account on microscope(s). Basically, as things stand today, when you follow Epson's out of warranty repair protocol, once your print-head drops out your printer is worthless. You are not far off at all on your potential repair estimate. I get emails all the time about this from X900 users. We're like one big family. It's pretty typical to hear about repair numbers in the $2,500 range. Actually this very morning another previous contributor to this thread is opening his door to a D1 house call over in Oklahoma, for the very same procedure you are considering. Only difference is his machine is an 11880 (also X900-based head). His estimate was closer to $3,000. He texted me jokingly yesterday while I was riding in the mountains "maybe I should set up a video camera and film my D1 experience!".
Sounds like we are laughing about all this, which I do choose to do - rather than to cry. At B&H's current price, and offer for free delivery, and the brand new warranty you would get with the purchase - you are exactly right. Following standard Epson/D1 repair protocol once you're out of warranty, makes no sense at all. Add to that the fact that I recently saw a special at B&H for the 7900 at just under $2,000 and it's about enough to make a guy nauseous.
It could very well be that these "un-clearable X900 clogs" are indeed a death sentence for your Epson Stylus Pro Printer. So, maybe I am a fool for continuing my search for answers to questions we all have, and solutions we all need. Won't be the first time I have failed. Won't be the last time I try not to.
I'm sorry, sfblue. Things seem grim I know. So I offer you this personal story of inspiration - maybe you'll see hope too:
(my apologies, some might find this inappropriate)
September 2, 2012. Sonoma California. I am 46, racing an underpowered bike on barely a budget against guys not even born when my racing career began. It's a good year, we're leading the championship, I'm riding all season like I wish I could have two decades ago - today would be different if I had. Then mid-way through third practice, in an unsuspecting turn, for no reason anyone has made sense of yet, all hell breaks loose at over 100mph. I fight to wrestle the bike back to shape but I lose the match. I am thrown to the pavement - head and shoulders first like you might treat something you sincerely despise. I hit my head, I smash my hand, I tare my Rotator Cuff - can't lift my left arm past my ribs.
And our bike is destroyed..
...is any of this feeling familiar to anyone with a clogged X900 yet?
Sometimes you get your lights knocked out. We all do. But that doesn't define you. What you do next does.
The boys stared straight back at hopelessness and told it to piss-off. They worked all night rebuilding our trusty steed and by mid-morning it had two wheels again. An hour later with a numb shoulder, a bike held together with bailing wire and duct tape, and basically one hand we led the race to the half-way mark. Just then, like we hadn't overcome enough already, our bike began to shake the earth around it like a scene from "The Who" playing Woodstock. The exhaust on our 1190cc twin had broke. It hung from the right side of the bike at just the right angle to cantilever both me and bike into the air on the next right hander, once we got to full lean. Sometimes you've just got to say, "What, the, hell..."
This is the point where this story is supposed to inspire anyone facing un-clearable X900 clogs, to cling to hope. I wrestled us back into shape, we went on to take the loudest second place ever recorded by man, and we won the Championship.
If it is possible to clear a clogged X900 head, we (meaning everyone here) will find the way.