I scan my MF transparencies on an Epson Perfection v500 that I got on sale for $150 at Staples. I scan at 2400 dpi and have printed these files at 20x24 and they look incredible. I've had people walk into the room where these prints are hanging and they give them rave reviews. I've seen work (by much better photographers than me) in galleries that looks like you could walk into the photograph; shot on 6x17 Provia and Velvia. These are printed 24x72 and bigger. 4x5 and 8x10 slide film looks fantastic when printed 40x50 and bigger. I currently have some slides sent out for drum scanning at 4000 dpi, which is the limit of slides if excellent technique and equipment is used, just to see how much better they are than the flatbed scanner I have.
For web and small prints (ie.. I did a family calendar of Lake Tahoe images) I scan at 1200 dpi strait to JPEG and import to iPhoto.
My first 4x5 slides are sitting on a light table so I can stare at them... they are amazing to look at, and I'm a schmo.
Anyway, thats what I do with slides.
Thank you very much for your reply. What you do sounds very compatible with my goals and abilities. How do you print your (word that cannot be uttered here) *ns?