SNAGRAPHICS, yes, it's finally out! i1Profiler's scanner profiling solution is simple, easy and surprisingly effective.
I've been calibrating scanners for clients around the world since 1994, and making ICC profiles for them since 1999 and have spent a lot of time comparing various profiling solutions and targets. One observation is that the color gamut of film based targets is pretty small relative to the potential range of the real-world objects being scanned. The original 24 patch Colorchecker seemed promising years ago but it doesn't have a dark enough black patch to characterize the shadows, and it's color patches aren't particularly saturated either. I've tried making my own inkjet targets with little success and was briefly encouraged by XRite's ill-fated Colorchecker DC (digital camera) target. All of this changed when XRite released the ColorChecker SG (Semigloss), otherwise known as the CCSG. This reflective target has a better range of saturated colors with deep blacks and bright whites than any other target I've seen and this translates into better scanner profiles. I've insisted that all of my high end clients with Cruse scanners own their own CCSG targets and re-profile regularly with it. PMP, MP and now i1P profiles made with this target have performed very well for this type of demanding user for years now. It's also makes excellent profiles on Epson scanners. On of the reason's it's taken so long for i1P's scanner module to come out is that I've been really insistent that they release it with a wide variety of supported targets, including the CCSG.
ProfileMakerPro (PMP) and Monaco Profiler (MP) have been my scanner profiling tools of choice for over a decade. There are others that are very good as well but for me it boils down to CCSG support for reflective profiling. Mac OS 10.7 and 10.8 won't run these and other, older scanner profiling applications so i1Profiler is the solution going forward, IMO. They've made some nice improvements to the engine (that's based on the Monaco Profiler engine) that you'll see with these profiles. I think it's a solid, well built platform that they'll continue to expand upon in the future.
PMP and MP provided a lot of control over the scanner profiling process including the geeky ability to measure your own targets with a spectro and develop customized reference files. i1Profiler doesn't have this ability with this release but I'm plenty happy with the results using the supplied reference files for the supported targets. Colorchecker targets are incredibly consistent and stable over time, and making custom reference files for them has extremely little return for the effort. Making custom targets altogether is a nightmare I'd encourage people to avoid!
As for transmissive targets, I feel like the options are all very similar with no clear winner. The scanning software is so critical here, especially when it comes to the tricky task of scanning C-41 color negatives. I used to be a drum scan operator and C-41 always took such an incredible amount of time to get a scan I felt good about selling...
So to make a long story short, I recommend the ColorCheckerSG target and i1Profiler for reflective scanner profiling - it's really straightforward and the results are fantastic. As it's been said before here, scanner profiling is not a magic bullet - it's one piece to a much larger workflow pie. Color correction and color management go hand in hand with any scanning workflow and there are many aspects other to identify and take time to master (lighting, polarization, scanner metamerism, etc).