It is always wise to start with the OEM cartridges for your initial setup of the printer. I have experienced head failures with NEW and Refurnished printers right out of the box, if I hadn't started with the OEM carts I would have never been able to determine the printer as a fault. Epson is normally very good about replacements when this happens if reported in a timely manner. So, I would absolutely recommend installing the OEM carts the printer came with and getting a Good Nozzle check and a print out using an Epson profile and paper to verify the 100% operation of the machine before proceeding.
We do not have much history with these cartridges, we've sold very few of the carts we have in stock currently with the battery style chips we really can't say yes, they have problems or no, they've been fine. We tested a couple sets in our R2000 when developing the system originally and haven't had the need to test or use the R2000 since and we didn't have any problems with them.
I see you have a sales order that has shipped to you with 5 sets of these cartridges in it, I will issue a RMA for this set if you would be so kind to ship them back to our office for testing. I will ship out a replacement once we receive the RMA and you can simply replace Brian's set with one of the sets you receive. Does that make sense or does that work for the both of you?