I was hesitant to post this topic originally, not thinking that it would have much relevance to a photography site.
I'm glad I did, because the information shared in this thread proved pivotal to the sucess of this job.
Staying the course with my original printer, being patient, doing my own research and finding out the proper settings for the CMYK conversion for their press has paid tremendous dividends.
I got the final proofs today and they look stupendous.
The printer is doing dances in the back room they are so happy.
They'll do my print-run tomorrow, head to the binder on Friday and hopefully they'll be done in time for me to give them out for Christmas.
The moral of the story? Hmmm...I'm still digesting for the moral. There might be more than one.
Ironically I was photographing some Gucci day-planners for a client, and in Italy, or for Gucci at least, Saturday and Sunday are the last two days of the week.