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I was also having a very similar problem and have happened onto a cheap hack to fix it.
- Start xsane
- Hitting scan / preview will now cause the "Device Busy" error.
- Cycle the power on the scanner.
- Now hitting the scan / preview buttons does not do much of anything but the "Device Busy" no longer appears.
- Without closing xsane run scanimage -d ... (just like before)
- Ctrl-C the scanimage once the scanner starts going.
- This should now leave you with a working instance of xsane.