I've also found from testing that the Canon color tinting is a bit more limited in the max color tint/saturation (compared to Epson's ABW mode) and neither can hold a candle to doing the color toning in LR/ACR/PS.
I agree. I like the simplicity of application level toning and have found color printing of B&W images with excellent custom profiles to work really well, especially across a variety of printers. Of course, I like the idea of using an Advanced B&W mode for it's reduced use of color inks and greater reliance upon the black and greys but the reality is that we just don't have the metamerism issues we used to have (that drove us towards the ABW modes in the first place). I printed some delicately toned B&W images to some 4900, 9900, 11880, 8300, 9400 and SureColor S70 printers this week - all in color mode using custom profiles and the consistency across all of them, as well as the print quality, and workflow ease were all fantastic!
So while the Monochrome Photos mode can be excellent I'd urge you to consider B&W printing in color mode as well. You'll want to be on top of the on-board calibration and custom profiling of course, but if you are the results are excellent, predictable and consistent.