peter carter , Oct 03, 2011; 07:31 a.m.
I have seen great scans produced by all the software. I have all the software mentioned (err...the last release of SF).
I prefer VueScan because of the methodical approach and the cost. If you want an auto-pilot approach, Silverfast or Epson Scan may be your cup of tea.
Silverfast gets licensed to a specific scanner. I originally had two, which I had purchased 2 costly Ai Studio licenses for. When I upgraded my 4490 to a V700 they wanted me to buy another. I just uninstalled all their software and now only use Vuescan, which works them all.
I did have a problem with the Silverfast software, involving their software not recognizing my epson scanner while the other scanner (also running silverfast) was turned on. Silverfast does not use the epson drivers and talks to the buss directly. Evey other scan software worked fine on all scanners, simutainously. I wanted my $$ back but they were unwilling, insisting that I would get the next rev of the software for free (didn't happen, and I have all the email - they don't do voice...) and tempted me with a free scan target. My mistake for accepting, in good faith and all.
I mention this for two reasons. Many people have a wonderful success with SF. It has been my experience that when things go wrong, they are big on promises but short on delivery. In contrast, any issues with VueScan were dealt with swiftly and the pro version is upgradable for life.