It is DEFINITELY time (getting close to PAST!) for Artisan stockpiling. We do not get the 800-series because the auto-feed sits on top (where I can stack sooo many other things on flat 700-series surface!!) but we have been buying some of those as well.
Did you have trouble adjusting to the single-tap on the Artisan face before it would print? I did. I spent a good 50-60 disk prints arguing with it (I tried every cuss word, every foul look of mine - yet it still resisted until I'd tap that GO AHEAD FINALLY NOW button).
I have to do that twice on the Impressions. Sheesh. Tap... wait wait wait... tap again. Jeepers... what is WITH that, Epson Engineers?!!
On the Artisan, I had to learn to fold down the lower paper-flap. I had to peal up the top LED panel. This is similar to the machinations required for the Impression except pulling out the paper-tray is more like the FEED-OUT tray - where paper rolls out onto, after printing.
But that isn't clear UNLESS you read instructions (who does THAT?!!). I can leave that sticking out and never need to stick it in. This is partly a nod to the smaller footprint of the box, too - probably to make the footprint smaller, Epson adopted this Chinese-puzzle-box routine of pulling out different parts to clear the path.
My only concern remains for the engineering differences of the Artisan's "escalator feed" vs the long-time "hand-fed tray". I know all of our R and RX printers 'died' basically because the feed-rollers slicked up, over time.
Did the Artisans work too well and maybe never die like that? Did Mr. Epson whine, "We can't have a perfect product! We'd never sell another unit then"?
Or were there field reports citing mass failings, way-too-expensive repairs under warranty, etc.? I can see both scenarios. We've got 120+ Artisans among our clients and staff, and no feed problems on those. They all do dozens of disks a week, maybe a dozen sheets a paper.
Our customers still have over a hundred RXs, too, but we're down to about 40 R's. (All of those are CISS's and we've been assured that I can pry those from their dead fingers. We've learned how to handle Epson's evil fuse-blown feed-counters that demand $75 service for a 20-cent fuse and four screws. Grrr.)
And we've learned to disallow Epson's event manager from passing thru our firewall - it still has to function during computer operations, but by blocking access to phone-home, it won't get auto-updates to snitch when we might be using non-Epson cartridges!
As BLU brought up, "size" is an issue and the Impression goes a nice distance to offer a solution. But is Hand-Fed truly better FOR THE PRINTER than Auto-Feed?
We'll never get answers, I suspect.