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I remember him plunking down $300 for a Microtek 4700 in 2000 with my nephew when I was going to school for computer graphics. I used it more than him until I got my scanner... He was a Senior (class of 2001) and planning on the same career path as me. At the time, this scanner was a step up from the bottom... today it couldn't keep up with the $85 Epson.
My nephew went to work for a small record label designing CD packaging and posters. They print with a 24" Canon Bubblejet so their bands can have cheap promotional posters before a show or other event. The scanner the art department uses is the Canon Canoscan 8400F http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=38-111-118&depa=0
Dirt cheap and 3200x6400 dpi. They appreciate the high resolution because they will crop a 4x6 photo and make a 24x36" poster from it. Not as good dynamic range as the better Epsons, about 3.2 like the cheap Epsons. Good scanners will be more like 3.8-4.0. The 4180 has a dynamic range of 3.4, which isn't bad, just not great.
Legal... that's a tough one.
I took a 1 year computer graphics class at the local community college. I started June 2000 and finished May 2001. The computer lab I could go to do homework was fairly new. There were six "graphics stations" with AMD K6-2's running around 450-500 mhz depending on the box. There were others slightly older with K6-2's running around 350 mhz for just word processing and web browsing on the "killer" 128k Dual ISDN line. All boxes were running Win98SE.
There were three Microteck Scanners. Two were Microtek 4700's, like my nephew purchased around the same time. The other was a legal scanner, the Microtek X12USL which is still current, sort of... http://www.microtekusa.com/smx12usl.html. Certainly not a bad scanner then. Of course in 2001 a 42 bit, 1200x2400 dpi scanner was a big deal in those days. I'm not sure how it survived so long... still can be purchased cheaply today. http://www.techdepot.com/pro/product.asp?ProductID=96814&IID=370
After the rebate, what looks to be it's replacement is only $60 more. http://www.techdepot.com/pro/product.asp?ProductID=2040739&IID=362
I have since become an Epson scanner fan, but if you need legal I think Microtek is the only choice these days.
i have a canon N656 U little one with no power cord. does all i need and its portable so i can use it in the mobile sign shop.
wife has a MICROTEK 4800X4800 with 4x5 photo negitive scan capability..she does a lot of photo stuff. now that scanner is the ticket....and it was less then $200!!!!