I'm very interested in film recorders. Does anyone have any experience with these? If so, I would very much like to hear about it.
I did some reading about Lasergraphics film recorders when I was trying to figure out what to do, and they're tempting -- but I have the feeling that they may be more trouble than they're worth. They seem to be used a lot by academics who are putting together slide shows, so you see comments about them by college users. I got the impression that they can be a little touchy -- people talking about getting training to use them, about repairs, etc. And as I noted above, the warranty costs a lot, which hints that there may be reason to worry about them. Anyway, the best price I could find was $4,500.
It was also suggested on this thread that that I should look for a photo service that outputs slides from digital files. I did find one, but the person on the phone didn't have details, and suggested that I'd have to talk to the lab guy who was in a different building. I just haven't driven into town to do that, especially since I took somebody else's suggestion, and bought a Canon Realis SX50, which, if God and UPS are on my side, should be delivered tomorrow morning. I'll leave a note here about how that works out...
In any case, I suspect you could get digital files output to slides in most larger cities, but it would have to be a city of unusual size, or perhaps one with a large university in it. Film recorders haven't been much in demand since the rise of PowerPoint.