We've always had Epsons, both 4800 and 4880 usins sawgrass ink. Good point of the epson is that they can take rolls of paper, but thats about it. The bad points are poor colour reproduction.
My 4880 is capable of outstanding color reproduction out of the box. Your issue would be the Sawgrass inks and the Power Driver if you are getting poor color reproduction. In it's native setup the 4880 has outstanding gamut and grayscale output so you shouldn't blame your printer, it's what you are putting in it.
The 4880 doesnt tell you how much ink is left in the cartridge (the 4800 did). You will therefore waste ink replacing cartridges as its difficult to know which is empty.
If you use clear carts then you look yourself to see what is remaining, even if Epson didn't lock out 3rd party inks and carts from monitoring ... Epson's ink monitoring is never accurate anyway. I have zero issues with knowing how much ink is left, the carts come out the front of the printer and you can easily see the remaining inks.
The epson is not built for sublimation so a sponge near the capping station can become clogged with cogeiled ink. This stops ink getting to the waste tank, and if you perform a power clean can mean the ink overflows into the printers circuitry (this has happened on 4 of our epson printers). There seems to be no method of cleaning the capping station and i wouldnt know what to clean it with (other roland printers we have come with instructions and special cleaning fluid, so its easy).
Not so ... many of us know how to clean the entire printer and this information is readily available from the main sublimation vendors.
And all inkjet printers need capping station maintenance.
The print heads always become blocked even after just one days inactivity, and its frustrating and wasteful trying to get the printing again.
We have now switched to the a3 Ricoh 7110sg and it prints faster, the colour match is better, and the heads dont dry up at all.
Ricoh's heads don't dry up because the firmware allows a trickle amount of inks to be shot thru the heads on some preprogrammed basis. On an Epson you just need to run small color bar files or do nozzle checks. My heads never get blocked after a day's inactivity. Ricoh's perceived improved reliability stems from the fact that most users don't maintain their printer properly and Ricoh just does something for you that you can do on your own, PRINT FREQUENTLY.
Your problem is related to the fact you never understood the maintenance and assumed it wasn't possible. Had you maintained your 4880 properly you would had these issues so much.
Also, I point again to the inks you used for the accuracy issue, the Ricoh was designed to be an office printer, the 4880 is a fine art and photography printer. Sawgrass is the issue not the printer.
We are well pleased we made the change.