So my trusty Canon S600 finally printed its last page. I got it online back in 2000 and it printed out page after page in brilliant colour. Once in a while it would feed two sheets instead of one, but for the most part it did its job well. Aftermarket cartridges were $6-7 (cheaper, I just found out, if you get 'em on eBay). Five and a half years of service. I'd say that's pretty good. The other day I decided to buy an older S450 off Craigslist so I could use up the remainder of my ink cartridges. The thing was $15 so I figured it couldn't hurt to try. Unfortunately, it didn't work. I emailed the seller and he was honest enough to PayPal my $15 back. Honesty is certainly what makes that site work.
So I thought I would share some research gathered the last few days by scouring Amazon and Epinions. Generally, HP printers are really high quality, really fast, but when you need to change the ink, with most models, you need to also replace the print head. Sooooo that means it's damn expensive to have an HP. There are no aftermarket cartridges for many models too. The Epsons are cheaper and also print really sharp images. There are cheap aftermarket cartridges for most of them but the complaint for many of the Epsons is that they don't use ink efficiently and the ink clogs up the head and you have to buy a new one or spend money fixing it. Apparently they don't last more than about a year. From my own experience and from reading hundreds of reviews, the Canons are generally the best bang for the buck. Super cheap cartridges ($2-3 on eBay, aftermarket), good quality printing, maybe not as fast as HP but good enough. Oh and they work for years. So I got this Canon IP4000 it's going for about $200 used on Amazon but......I found it on Craigslist from a fellow who lives five minutes down the road for only $35. His wife wanted to stick to HP (extreme brand loyalty). It had been sitting in his garage so I couldn't do a test print so the guy let me take it home without paying for it. I've tested it and it's AWESOME. Fast, sharp, and quiet. I'm going to meet up with him Saturday to hand over the cash and pick up some more cartridges he's throwing in free. I love it when people sell stuff and don't care if they're losing money on it.