The new printers have the same exact heads but you can set an automated "purging" cycle of from 6 minutes to 60 minutes and the heads will "clog less". Total windfall for Epson in terms of ink wa$te.
Personally I would buy a refurbished 9880 from Ron Ardito - rather than continue on the new platforms. We bought two of them recently. And we extended our warranties on our new 9900s to three years. The warranties were more than the two 9880s. We can not see a visual difference in print quality. We seldom take advantage of the orange and green as we mostly work with photographers who are photographing naturalistically.
I swear by INIT FILL because it uses suction without stimulus. The others use more stimulus than suction. Yes it wastes ink but if it can't do it - then? So it may be your last trick.
This morning we converted a printer with a dead cyan channel to a Piezography printer and mapped out the cyan channel and they will use the green channel for shade 2 instead. We have a customer who got three 9900s for free and converted them to Piezography. More and more people are finding free 7900s and 9900s with permanently clogged channels and converting them to Piezography.
Sorry as I know how frustrating it is - but you have to consider that this platform head life is as long as the warranty. Any more is a blessing...