Good post Don. Just one comment about the image itself. It may just be my scanner but I find that the images come out much nicer if I darken the brightness by 10% and increase the contrast by 10%. This make the contrasting parts of the chip stand out and removes some background clutter. Play with your images and see what works best for your scanner.
P.S. Scanners used to be rather expensive. I just saw my scanner for sale for $49 at Circuit City.