After testing most of the fairly new baryta papers, and a number of others, I decided to print my upcoming show on Harman Baryta gloss paper. It has wonderful detail and the gloss really doesn't get in the way of the image. It gives lovely prints on my Epson 3800 printer.
Aside from image quality, I chose this paper because it is one of the very few papers available in 17x25 inches, which is just right for a 16x24 inch image.
After printing the majority of my prints at 10x15 and 12x18 inches, today was time to print some 16x24 prints. I spent hours of frustration as I encountered head strikes, with vertical and horizontal scratches on the fragile paper. (not to mention lots of $ down the tubes). Adjusting the platen gap seemed to have no effect. It may be that because the large paper never lies completely flat, combined with a very hot day today, caused more head strikes than normal.
Well, after a number of internet searches, I finally found a review on Outback Photo with suggested paper settings which seem to have solved my problem. The key was to adjust the paper thickness from 3 to 4 and the platen gap from auto to wide. (These settings are found on "paper configuration" in the Epson printer driver.)
Thanks to Jack Flesher and Uwe Steinmuller for saving me more hours of grief!