As far as the silverfast GUI SergeiR and Bill, I'd rather not to turn this into a negative thread disparaging the software - I don't intend to be unnecessarily negative about the software when I'm trying to get their help. The only reason I'm putting myself through all of this is because I do think 8 is an improvement overall.
And anyway, I wouldn't say the Vuescan GUI is anything to write home about either.
I think I may just see if I can get them to sell me a license for 6.6 AI Studio. It is no longer available on their website as far as I can tell.