Not sure if we could ever get our original SCR printer to go with what you're proposing, though there's certainly no harm in having Mr. LaRue (our liason officer) look into it. They're simply not set up for a MagCloud business model—very different core technology, printing hardware and labor. But who knows?
To be honest, the MagCloud paper used seems to me much more like the laser printer paper you get from your office supply store than actual professional magazine stock. I can only assume this is what works best on their output equipment while also being not so high-end as to not permit an acceptable profit margin on these types of print jobs. What makes the whole thing work for them (and others, I'm assuming) is the high level of automation in the process. "Look, Ma, untouched by human hands!" Still, as I say, the paper was at least a semi-gloss stock, and certainly reproduced type and images to a satisfactory level for the $15+ price tag, IMHO.
Thanks for letting me poke you a little about this, Don...
P.S. Oh, yeah: like you, I was concerned about what appeared to be excessive cropping of the image (or "live") area of MagCloud's printouts, and gave one of their online "contact us" service people kinduva hard time about it. I needn't have worried: internally, the SCR has always been produced with plenty wide enough margins to not be affected by this concern. The front cover, however, since it prints "to the bleed," IS affected. But the amount of image actually cropped out turned out to be pretty minimal, and thus not all that significant. In other words, despite my initial misgivings, I was okay with it. (Nothing's perfect.)
Sure writing is easy: just sit staring at a blank page until the drops of blood start forming on your forehead.