According to Quark's website, QuarkXPress version 8 will support the ability to place native Illustrator (.ai) files. Does this mean the end for .EPS is near? As someone who moved away from Quark nearly 8 years ago (has it really been that long?), I don't know exactly what "native Illustrator support" really means to the folks at Quark.
As you know, Illustrator files contain PDF content within them (and if you don't know that, read this), so I guess that Quark now has the ability to see that content within AI files. More so however, I assume this statement really means that Quark can now flatten Adobe's transparency model. Although what kind of flattener settings Quark is using is unclear to me. One of the benefits of using Adobe InDesign is that both Illustrator and InDesign share the same print engine code, ensuring that what prints from AI looks exactly the same as what prints from ID.
In any case, if you've had the chance to use native AI files with Quark, I would love to hear about your experiences. I only ask because, as I had mentioned above, I wonder if the use of EPS is no longer necessary for Quark workflows, which will be yet one more step closer to us finally being able to put EPS in a nice lovely trophy case for all to see, right alongside our rapidograph, our Mac Plus, and our Syquest cartridges.