I could not agree with your comments more
I have been using the EPSON brand all the way thru their dot matrix days and on into the present days printers. I thought the little 800 was an awesome little printer for the money. So decided to spring for the R1800 about 5 years ago and I had never seen a $600.00 spraying style system print as impressive as that 1800
I was in Love
It died, through no fault of its own (water damaged) so sprang for the R1900. What a awesome let down
Now I am looking at the 2880 or 3880 and neither one scares me on price, but I have such expectations for the Epson line from the past (until the 1900 anyway) and if Epson lets me down again, I'll not buy another. If I could buy a new 1800 and be guaranteed ink cartridge availability for a few years, I believe I'd go back to that and forget anything else Epson produces.
My Nikon D70 is not much different. Bought it new. Went to Iraq for a year. Came home, put in a fresh battery, fired it up and it just flashes a green LED at me. Turns out the software had a bug, so off to Nikon (free) it goes. I get it back, turn it on and half of the preset lighting modes do not work. Auto mode works when it feels like it... And so on. You get the picture
Not finicky about swapping cartridges and if it takes a little longer to print, for the quality I expect and have paid for, so be it. I am not running a business, just a serious hobby guy. BUT, by God, I expect results for the money I am shelling out and lately, EPSON is right there with BP