This is the final response to the first (very thin, gray) sample. Thanks to RavenWolf for putting this stuff through some seriously detailed tests.
Splitting the sample into two pieces, she lightly sanded the block before doing the parchment transfer and didn't do anything to the wintergreen transfer. Both types of transfer worked well and there was no problem seeing the images against the gray material background.
Using modified gouges and needles, she thought the material held on too much with needle carving and didn't pop out as easily as she would have liked. She didn't think this would be a problem for gouge carvers, but thought it made carving take longer than it should with needles and knives. Overall, it was a less difficult to cut than OZ, but not as smooth as PZ.
Gouge carving was pretty smooth, but she still had some difficulty pushing through the material, especially noting that if she stopped in the middle of a long, sweeping curve, the material pushed back against the gouge. (We'll see if this is partly due to the thinness of this particular sample, when we get the results on the thicker one.)
Ink did seem to bead up a little on the blocks, even on the sanded piece, but she didn't see much difference between pigment vs StazOn ink.
Though this would not be her ideal material, she thought that it worked well for detailed carving, making beautiful, tiny lines and holding them well, allowing her to go back and shave off little bits without bending, and allowing for precise corrections.
She thought it was a marked upgrade from OZ, but still not up to PZ standards.
Once again, feel free to chime in, if I've over or understated, misunderstood or simply blundered somewhere along the way. :)
Thanks again to all the wonderful first round testers. Amazingly, every single one of them signed up for more punishment and will be reporting in round two, as well, along with a few new intrepid testers who joined the merry band.