I have been impressed with the SANE project for scanners because I haven't had to screw around with ANYTHING so far to get my scanners to work (across several different configurations - sometimes separate units, sometimes built into the printer, sometimes parallel port, usually USB port).
All that you have had to do is install the packages "sane" and "gimp2.0-quiteinsane" to get the system up and running. Scanning from within the Gimp is easy - just go to File->Acquire->QuiteInsane and the rest should be straight-forward.
If you have a special Hewlett-Packard multi-function printer then you can also scan from within the "hplip" project (I discussed this utility in my Printer Howto).
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