According to this French Epson support site click here , it is possible to use the Win98 drivers with ME.
The trick is to disconnect the scanner, power off the PC, reconnect it and let Plug and Play detect it.
PnP will complain that it cannot find the drivers it needs - if you then choose to select it from the list, choose the Epson 5000, ignore the complaints from Windows that the driver does not match the hardware, all should be well.
I don't have this scanner, so can't try it myself.
Another Usegroup thread suggests checking that your parallel port is set to EPP mode in the BIOS - see click here for how to check.
I can't find any ME-specific WIA drivers, but many people report that the W98 TWAIN drivers can be forced to work.
Good luck with trying to wrestle it into submission :)