scanner advice

I have a small home network with two xp computers for my wife and I. Each computer has its own printer. The host computer has a printer offering low consumable costs and sharable by the client. The client computer has a not so cheap cost per page printer that can also sheetfeed scan, copy, and fax. I am thinking of adding some sort of flat bed scanner to the network to get two things. (1) The ability to scan things like books or other similar things a sheetfeed scanner cannot handle. My need for this would be very rare, extreme accuracy and color fidelity unimportant, with readable output the goal. (2) Both my wife and I have a large number of 35mm slides we would like to scan to cd-r or dvd disks. There, very high quality scanning would be the goal with some of the output used to produce quality prints of up to 8 x 10 in size. I also have a concern because I now have two dead scanners I bought years ago. Rightly or wrongly I feel both died because the scanner lamps were always on when the computer was booted up. Since 99.9999999%
of the time, I do not need scanning of any kind, I would prefer an on off switch and would not mind at all waiting a few minutes for a scanner lamp to warm up in the event I did need scanning. Can anyone please give me some advice on what I should buy and price is somewhat of an object. I will also consider buying a very cheap flatbed scanner and a decent quality film scanner, especially if I can get the latter on the used or refurbished market. And my computer does have usb, firewire, and one unused parallel port.

Any advice and user inputs appreciated.
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More about scanner advice
  1. My grandpa has an epson perfection scanner (I forget the exact model off hand, might be a 2400). Lots of that series of scanner have flatbed as well as film scanning ability. My grandpa does a fair amount of 35mm film scanning and all the scans have excellent quality, he blows them all up to 8x10 or larger. The price will pretty much depend on how many 35mm frames/slides you want to scan at once. My grandpa's does 5 at once and I believe it cost him around $100. I believe the larger ones have a dedicated tray that can hold a whole roll, they cost around $500.

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  2. I use the Epson 2400 Photo, and the lamp does shut off when not in use. There's a little delay while it warms up before use. I don't use it for film and slide scanning, however. I have tested it briefly with a couple of film negatives and gotten decent results. I wouldn't think twice about getting its big brother the Epson Perfection 4180. It's got better resolution that will you serve you better scanning slides an negatives and the dynamic range is a little better than the 2400.
  3. The 4180 is what I use. It has a power off button and it stays off except when I need to use it. It also comes with a 35mm slide holder, 35mm film and negative holder and a transparency holder.

    The machine will scan at ungodly resolutions which take an ungodly amount of time and result in ungodly large files. But you can select the amount of resolution you want to use.

    If like mine yours will stay off most of the time, buy a dust cover for it too.

    ....WW (5.0)
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