All of my small A5 to A4 printer's proof Ilfochromes were framed. They were equally as effective to prospective clients as the finished prints, only smaller and thus in many cases, more appealing (for space limitations, for instance).
Ilfochrome was not the be-all and end-all of fine art-quality printing — for a lot of works, B&W would be better than the pissing around in the darkroom with Ilfochrome — a statement one uttered by two of my printers who, while not criticising my work (they never did, and they actually bought some), were making reference to how much more tedious the Ilfo' process was as opposed to the infinite variations 'on tap' in B&W.
It began to lose its lustre in the early 2000s when constant increases on cost, production stuff-ups, bad to terrible distribution channels and often just faulty stock really grated. Whatever other professionals migrated to and with good reason, I don't much care; I went my own way and am quite happy with that, as are the clients to whom I explained why I would not be printing to Ilfochrome further. Besides all that, it is the quality of the work: compositional metrics, knowledge of subject and lenswork that people find more attractive, not what type of bloody print it is.
.::Gary Rowan Higgins
A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
I simply got tired of printing Ciba. Then, like you said, the prices skyrocketed at around the same time
the distribution started getting messed up.... and I figured its days were limited, so starting experimenting with color neg and RA4 paper, which was at that point far from satisfactory to me, but evolving, and has now arrived at a point where I feel is superior to Ciba. I also did plenty of black and
white work in the interim. I never found the masking work tedious, rather an enjoyable challenge, and
still employ analogous techniques to color neg work, though one does not routinely need to do this
as back in Ciba days, just as an ocassional tweak.