BINGO! You nailed it.
What camera system is your daughter using? I use CS3, but my main post processing software is Nikon Capture NX. Of course, Leopard can be a real problem with NX, which is why I'm still on 10.4.11. Some folks can't get NX to work worth a crap under Leopard, others can but say they still have problems.
IMO, it much harder to get accurate colors from the camera using CS3 than it is using Nikon's proprietary algorithms. Plus NX has D-Lighting, which is amazing, and easy to use. Sometimes I use both programs, and CS3 is easy to use for setting up printer profiles. Believe it or not, one can get really good prints from online min-labs, IF one has the correct profile for the printer paper combo to be used. I have a local Costco that does great print work, using Fuji crystal Archive paper, and I can't even begin to print at home for the same prices.
At this point, I'll bet dollars to donuts, and them's good odds, that she shoots Canon.
Damn right. I bought her a Canon 40D with 28 to 135 IS, and the 18 to 85 IS lenses.
I currently use a Canon 5D.
Nikon has problems with all software other than its own. I've used several Nikon models for testing purposes, and their own software does give slightly better resultsif you are using the straight results. But they can be made equal with a bit of touching up, which can then be saved to the camera profiles.
I have a Canon IPF5100 printer. In all my years of experience in this, I've never used a printer, at any price, including the Iris, that can give a print, even using canned profiles, that exactly matches my screen when looking at the print with my GraphicLite D50 box.
I'm amazed because even B$W comes out incredibly well. I can make slightly better profiles for some materials, but they're not much better.
This is in opposition to the Epsons, which are so nonlinear, that without good profiles, have terrible, muddy shadows, without detail, and lost highlights.
Depending on the paper used, the print prices aren't too bad, but the quality will be higher than Costco's. I just bought a roll of 17" x 100' f Canon Saten Photo paper for $50. This is a good paper, but medium weight at 100gm/M.
Better paper can cost $1.70 for 8.5 x 11. Harman is very good, and so is Ilford Galerie, which is a bit less expensive.
I just had a guy on FredMiranda ask for help with Costco. Without using their profiles, which is something I know where to get, it can be very variable. they use sRGB, as do most labs of that type, and some will throw the profiles away if their machine isn't set up properly.
I went through this with my own Agfa mini labs, the last of which was the D Lab.