I've been through the exact same considerations and ended up buying the R3000 late december 2012.
Regarding the cleaning cycles - I had the same concerns, but so far I haven't experienced it as a problem though a few cycles have appeared. I triggered a cleaning cycle myself once (by accident..) and I think the issues with excessive cleaning cycles was ascribed to printer driver issues in other posts here on LL - I run Win7 and use Capture One 6.4. On the other hand I should mention that I don't print much and cleaning cycles might be proportional with the amount of printing (would make some sense..).
I've followed some simple recommendations from other members here on LL - I run a Nozzle check regularly and switch the printer off when I'm not actually printing - switching off parks the printer heads and seal them as I understand. Try to search LL posts on these subjects.
The ink waste during the switch between PK and MK - so far I've only used papers that use the PK. When I someday will make prints that utilize the MK I will plan for this - if your printing pattern will require this switch to happen often then it's a problem.
I didn't go for the 2880 due to some reports on the paper feeding mechanism failing for some heavy papers - I've had no issues with my R3000 so far. Also I liked the wireless option so that I don't need a cable in daily use - but note that you will need to wire it up to your pc in some cases (fx driver install). The automatic switch between PK and MK also makes a difference. But you pay for it.
If you haven't read it, this review is worth reading:http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/printer/epson_r3000.html