It will cost me little to involve Epson as I purchased the 2-year warranty extension ($500) for the 4900. I had jitters early enough with this machine that there was no way I was headed into the future without extended warranty coverage.
So I will be on the phone with Epson tomorrow, and plan to let them hire Decision One to deal with the matter. I will also let them buy the ink carts needed to flush ad nauseum to clear, or not clear, the head. I will be inconvenient.
I can't conceal my irritation, I'm afraid. I perhaps a little too suspicious that this product line is troubled, and that the culture that has become apparent in these discussions of "so long the owner stands on his or her head in just the right way the machine perform almost well" is not helping the process, in my view. I'll ask rhetorically if there is any other piece of hardware we use in our trade that provides this kind of track record?
But I also must confess that I may clearly have worsened any 4900 problems to have gone down the road of using this Symphonic fluid from American Inkjet, particularly when I had clear nozzle checks at the time I began the treatments. Mind you I did so because I was fatigued by the amount of time, ink and paper I'd been spending getting rid of head clogs - so I was looking for a sustainable maintenance plan. On the other hand, I had uneasy feelings about American Inkjet - that they in their small NJ office had solved problems that Epson engineers couldn't solve - it didn't ring true. I did speak by phone with the company proprietor before initiating treatment with Symphonic Fluid, and I should have followed my instincts. In summary, I should have not begun the treatment without hearing from others, like people here, first hand that it was wise.