>I have answered these types of posts before and generally live to regret it, but here goes...<
I couldn't agree more, and probably should have stopped myself from responding to the post, because these often spiral downard into pissing matches.
It is just short of impossible to demonstrate the quality that is possible from these machines without physical samples. The progress in just four years since my first flatbed, a Linocolor Saphir Ultra (which just died) and the Epson is startling. Even in the hands of fairly inexperienced users, results are remarkable. I'm happy with mine and can only carp about scanning area (I used to be able get tranny scans of 8.5 x 11 off the Saphir) and speed (5 hours for a 4x5 with ICE is a bit much), but I generally think it is difficult to be dissatsified with the output quality of current offerings, especially for the average consumer.
As for the Monaco EZ color, I guess I overlooked the potential value of that software since I already owned a MacBeth system, and at a minimum, one can muddle through with simply an accurately calibrated monitor and a good set of downloadable printing profiles.