I am supposing that the Starborn/Headcote system leaves the plug flush with the board to eliminate having to sand the entire deck. I have a couple thousand s.f. of deck, that's a lot of machine sanding.
It's a great system, but you still need to sand off the top of the plug. It is possible to set the plugs perfectly, but that takes time, and with 2000 sq' of decking, you're going to want to plug quickly. Even when I don't plug, I sand the entire decking surface. I don't know how your Ipe looks, but mine always comes with some scratches, sticker stains, footprints, and other issues. Sanding makes it all good.
Of course, my decks rarely exceed 300 sq', so hand sanding is only a 3 hour process.
I used to make my own ipe plugs, and it's time consuming. Besides for that, my plugs were always too long, so I had to chisel them all before sanding. Sometimes the plug would chip badly, and break below the surface. With this new starborn system, I don't have to worry about that anymore.
It's more pricey than making my own, but I make up for that by saving time...and I pass the cost on to my clients anyway.