I have been processing C-41, E-6, and RA-4 prints for a while now.
A few comments:
1. I really don't think processing time and temperature is as critical as some believe. I have, in the course of human events, introduced unusual times AND temperatures (try processing C-41 at 35 degrees C - RA-4 printing temperature - instead to the prescribed 38 degrees +/- 0.5 degrees as specified by Tetenal) with nothing like significant effect.
2. "Economy" is not the driving force in my decision to process my own. What is important to me in fairly equal "grades" of importance, is the protection of the privacy of the models - and MY work - I don't want some High School part time kid with nearly out-of-control hormones printing some of the more "indelicate" work that occasionally occurs - and distributing copies far and wide.
3.Quality. I find it easy to exceed the sheer quiality of the best commercial labs. I do *everything* "one-shot" - and, IMHO, nothing can equal fresh chemicals. No commercial labs will do that ... just NOT financially viable for them.... but it is for me.
4. Flexibility. There is as much, if not more, in color processing as there is in black and white. C-41 color negative -and E-6 transparency can be "pushed" and more rarely, "pulled" by altering development times. Color balance in printing can be "fine tuned" - I have a ColorStar channel set up for fair caucasian skin - something that *can* be done in a commercial lab - but not without a lot of hassle ... they *much* prefer "standard" dichro balances. Dodging, burning - even for the more adventurous - "color dodging" are all available.
4. Printing color with JOBO tanks. I've read a number of replies saying, "The necessity of washing the tank and waiting for ti to be *completely* dry before printing again makes JOBO processing impractical."
I've just finished a run of some sixty (60) 8' x 10" Ilfocolor prints. Separate "washing" was NOT necessary ... the 6 x 30 second washing cycle is sufficient to clean tank itself. Drying is done "high tech" - just wipe out the inside of the tank with a wad of paper towels..
THat's about it... I hope to enter this message before I go "over time" and it disappears into bit heaven.