I stand corrected on the MP970 scan function. Woo hoo!
After some more googling I came across this web page in looking for a 64 bit driver for my Epson: http://www.avasys.jp/lx-bin2/linux_e/scan/DL2.do
I downloaded and installed the two files listed under "DEB 64bit package [libltdl7] (for Ubuntu 8.10 or later)".
Then I tried running iscan, but it didn't find anything. HOWEVER ... tada! --- a little utility in my menu simpply called "Scanner Utility" not only identified the Epson, it found the MP970 twice. I assume one is usb and the other is network, but I haven't investigated that yet.
AND, I now can scan in GIMP using XSane.
I guess it's better to be lucky than good, and Google really came through this time.
You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. - C. S. Lewis