Thanks to everyone for all the great advice.
As advised, I turned down the brightness on my Cinema display by about two thirds and things immediately got better. There are a few used Colormunkis on Ebay and I might invest in one of those to get a little closer color reproduction. Seems a worthwhile investment.
As in my original question, I am doing all this first, because I'm retired with nothing better to do, second because I have always loved photography and enjoyed printing pictures in my small darkroom, third because I have boxes of underwater slides that I have taken all over the world and I want to archive and print some of them, and forth I ended up with an Epson 9600 and am trying to get the best out of it. So I'm trying to get the system (workflow) set up for repeatable and color correct printing. I suppose that's what everyone is trying to do...duh. Anyway, I'm sure you all wanted to know all of that...
Here's another reason. A few years ago, we sent a few of our best slides to a reputable print shop here in Nashville. When we got the prints back they were no place close to the slides.....and expensive. To dark..... When I politely complained, I was told that "well, sometimes the prints are not actually what you see".
With all this great help, I'm going to try to do them myself....
Here's another question. I'm using a Nikon LS 5000 slide scanner and Vuescan software. I bought a publication called "The Vuescan Bible" for help with the scanning process. It's excellent....at least at my level. In that book it talks about profiling the scanner. In your learned opinions, is profiling the scanner really necessary? It seems that the IT8 targets are a fairly expensive affair and there is one target for each film type.
I would think the answer is ..."well, if you want the colors as close as possible, then profile the scanner". But...is it really something that I can see? Maybe every little bit helps.
As in all the above, your answers are greatly appreciated and very helpful.