Another vote for Moab Entrada natural. I've been going through boxes of the 17x22 190gsm at an alarming rate.
[MikeSeb:] The only complaint I've heard about Moab papers is that they have had in the past a tendency to flake after printing, leaving white spots. I give each sheet a vigorous going-over with a draftsman's camel-hair brush prior to printing to dislodge any loose flakes.
Same here, but to my knowledge this holds for any of the rag matte papers with the kind of coating that keeps the ink on the surface for a better gamut. That surface is also frighteningly easy to scratch.
[Blowery:] Also, is it meaninful to compare the ICC profiles that different makers offer for their papers to try and get a sense of the relative performance of the papers? I've been playing around with the icc profiles for some different papers and found some interesting things. For example, it looks like the Epson luster has a substantially bigger gamut and depth than the Enhanced Matte.
I don't think so because I don't see the profiles created by one person being consistent with those from any other person, even using the same spectrophotometer and software. What I've found after testing a variety of papers on my 4000 is the following:
A) The difference between colour-handling on the best matte papers and RC is mostly in the dark saturated colours and black depth. The mid and light hues are fairly similar.
B) There are even saturated colours in the darker hues that a good matte paper can beat RC at. IOW, if I print a fall scene on both matte and RC, it's not necessarily a given that the RC will show the greater gamut.
C) It is the Dmax (blackness) of the RC papers, as well as their sheen that gives them the appearance of greater vividness of colour. Black depth is the real Achilles heel of matte paper, but this is only an issue for certain images, esp. those with large areas of black and shadow.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure you can translate this directly from the 4000 and K3 machines to the 2200 used with the Epson driver. Although I no longer have a 2200, as I look back on the prints I did with it I find the shadow gamut very disappointing. I think Epson were poring on the matte black ink in order to compensate for the weak Dmax of pigments.