brief history - bought this scanner secondhand after lots of research including the excellent review here. wanted a scanner that could be my day to day document scanner, but also step up to the task of producing high quality scans of my small archive of film negatives.
i found it pretty satisfactory in this role - not fast, but the scans were pretty good. then i tried it with vuescan and saw what it could really do and i was very pleased. the one real disappointment was the FARE system which did not really help clean up the negatives as much as I'd hoped, and failed to work at all within vuescan. however, it has still given me two or three years of good service.
just recently however, it began to misbehave. initially, it began to freeze mid scan and just sat with the lamp on. killing the power rebooting would normally bring it back but it happened more and more, until it became completely unresponsive. on a whim i decided to try it via firewire instead of usb. ta da! back up and working! brilliant! for about two weeks...
...then it began to really crack up. when plugged in, the scanner lights would come on, regardless of whether the power switch on the scanner was on or off. then one day it was completely unresponsive. visible to the computer but does not respond to commands from software.
so i think it's the end of the line for this one.
i'm torn between buying an old dedicated scanner like a coolscan III or trying an epson flatbed instead. i'm probably looking at a v500 or a 4990 as a replacement.