>> Price wise none of these chips are expensive.
Huh? A quick search for 8212s turned up some at Jameco ($6 ea.) and Unicorn ($5 ea.). With 8 on the board, that's pretty expensive in my book.
Also, the PLCC "Centronics printer port driver chip" (forgot the number on the thing) was a no-show on the sites I quickly searched. So, what's up with that?