I appreciate your background, and attention to detail. If you carefully followed our instructions, and didn't use excessive pressure, or flood the print head, then there's no obvious error that would have caused your printer failure, and it may be a total coincidence.
We tested this model cart in an Epson R260, but not the R280 model. Since the two models use the same carts, we tested the cartridge function in the R260, and after good results, felt the cartridge model works well, and expect the same results in all printer models that use these carts.
What is the maximum size paper that you want/need to print on? What type of work do you print- photography or prints that you sell, and need good longevity, or short term graphics that don't need to last a long time?
Please let me know your printing needs, and I will suggest a printer for you.
Best regards and happy New Year~ Dana