I have the 2000P. I have been happy-enough with the prints but it is incredibly slow, a fact made all the worse by the need to make multiple test prints before the final one. The paper and inks are not available locally and this printer consumes both with gusto.
I recently bought an HP 7900. It prints MUCH faster and with very few test prints needed. In addition to the pair of 3-color cartridges, you can replace the black (used for text) with a photo grey cartridge. You can get true B&W prints (unlike the Epson) or any toned variation you want. Very nice for scanning and printing those old photos. It's also terrific for the newspaper articles I'd be scanning and printing if it weren't a copyright violation.
The HP does not use pigments. The inks and papers are avilable nearly anywhere. The test labs say the print will resist fading for 73 years when you use HP's best photo papers. The size limit is 8-1/2x14, so the Epson will stick around for larger prints.
"Permanent" means anything that will last longer than I will. In the case of the Epson Archival Matte paper with their pigmented inks, they claim 200 years. The HP claims 73 years for the 7900.
I've been telling my customers that, if the print fades after only 72 years, bring it back to me and I'll make a new one.
BTW, I paid about $900 for the Epson a few years ago and under $200 for the HP a few weeks ago.
If possible, check out the the August 2004 issue of Photo Marketing Magazine, pgs. 20 - 22, "Preserving The Memories: Products,proper storage keep consumer color inkjet prints lasting decades". It is a short discussion of the issue, with 7 tips retailers can pass along to their customers. The article is by Bonnie Gretzner.
We use several Epson printers, I think we have 2-1270's, 2-2200's, and a 7600. We love them. Ron's right, the smaller ones aren't the fastest printers out there, but I find the quality outweighs the speed. The 7600 was reasonably fast, until we installed a new profile for it. The new profile is amazing, especially on watercolors and canvas. The only trouble with it is that it uses about double the ink and takes about 4 times as long to print a canvas. For instance, we could get a 16x20 canvas printed with the old profile in about 12 minutes, the new one takes over 50 minutes. The wait is definately worth it though. We put a premium on the new product due to the time and ink consumption (about 40% higher) and in 3 months have had no customers opt to save money and go with the old canvas.