There are many reasons why people spend more for the Epson 3880. They are not comparable models.
The 3880 is a wide format printer that prints up to 17-inches wide. It's a pigment ink printer vs. a dye ink printer. Another big difference is ink costs. The Pro-100 has only a 13ml tank capacity compared to the 80ml ink cart capacity of the 3880. The 3880 comes loaded with the equivalent of 5 additional Pro-100 ink cart replacements that would cost $618 to match what comes included with the 3880 (currently US $929 at B&H).
The Pro-100 would still be cheaper, as it should be for a smaller format printer. But it wouldn't take long for it to be much more expensive to operate using those tiny 13ml carts.
I think the Pro-100 sounds like a great bargain. It's just not supposed to be a "comparable" model with the 3880.
Thanks. I should have read more clearly the size differences (13x19 on Canon vs 17x22 on Epson). That is a major difference that I need to consider. I already have a 24" wide format canon printer and until reading this thread, had felt an Epson 3880 would be an excellent choice for a dedicated b/w .
I knew the dye vs pigment as it was cited in the review posted.
Yes the carts are smaller in the Canon printer - but the cost per cart is less (I checked Vistek and they are $19 each).
I don't have anything factual to state the cost per ml of each ink in Canada and will have to check but based on what I understand of your post, the Epson has $618 more ink included in the 3880 - but its also $700 more (with rebates ). So the two cancel each other out and we're left with 2 printers that come with the same amount of ink supply for about the same cost ($300).
Therefore the Epson would be a better option because (a) its a wide format and (b) the cost per ml of ink is less to replace and (c) its pigment.
I appreciate you clearing my head - I guess when things seem to good to be true, they usually are.
Add: Just checked hope my math is correct this early in the morning:
Epson Ink 80 ml cartridge $64.95 /80 ml = .811 cents per ml
9 x 80 ml cartridges = 720 ml of ink included on purchase x .811 cents = 583.00
Canon Ink 13 ml cartridge $19.95 /13 ml = 1.5 cents per ml
6 x 13 ml = $119.00 ink included on purchase
Net printer cost for Epson is about $400 with rebates (1000 - 583) in Canada vs $180 for Canon (300 - 119)
So for $220 more, I get a wide format, pigment printer which over time will cost much less to use. I need to save for the Epson.