Actually this has been well discussed in various newsgroups. Epson's driver IS the issue.
I can't fix that, but will share that my workaround was to create a PDF and print it over and over...
Yes, I've received replies from Microsoft, but on this issue, it's not theirs! And I have my workaround, you may have to find yours.
I have two laser printers. One is an old HP1100, the second, a colour Epson Acculaser. If I am printing "Word", the Epson rattles along at about 20ppm in Black/White and the HP at about 7 or 8ppm.
The problem arises when printing Excel. For convenience, all the forms that I use are created in Excel 2000 (op system is 98). When printing 50 copies in HP, the computer thinks briefly and then does 1 copy 50 times BUT it does this with no hesitation between copies. However, the Epson has a huge think, prints one copy, has another huge think, prints another etc so that all in manages is less than 5ppm.
Epson don't want to know because it prints Word docs OK - Microsoft don't want to know at all (has anyone ever got a reply from them?) Can you help?