I'm so tired of spending $30 for stupid ink. I keep ending up with printers that have the print head on the cartridge so it makes the ink very expensive. I don't print a lot but when I do it's coupons, resume's (Thx Bush, I lost my job), and a few color pic's. I'm not that picky on quality. I've never owned a printer that the quality was an issue but I usually buy middle upper priced ones. I hope someone has the answer...
I use a canon 1500 pixma, which is discontinued. Look at venders such as 4ink.com for cheap generic replacement cartridges. I got about 20 cartridges (10 black, 10 color) for less than $40 shipped for mine.
I think most Cannon and Epson cartridges are relatively cheap. There are lots of websites that sell compatible generic cartridges much cheaper than oem $4 vs $15. Another good place to look for ink is ebay.
Most people make the mistake of buying a Lexmark printer because it's very cheap, but don't look at the price of the ink before hand.
I would recommend either Canon or Epson, I haven't used Canons so can't really comment on there quality or reliability. I have however had a couple of of Epsons and they are very good.
My current main printer is an Epson R220 (cost around £60/$90 at the time), and I use a continous ink system so buy ink in 250ml bottles (equates to around £0.30 ($0.45) per cartridge), it's a 6-cartridge printer so very good quality and since had it I've probably printer 25,000+ full colour pages and it's still going strong.
I'll go with 'get a cheap laser printer' and get refill kits for the toner cartridge from ebay. My samsung laser cost $50 and $30 for the 3 refill kit. Its been 2 years and I haven't gone thru the 1st refill yet though I did use up the starter toner cartridge.
Im a printer tech myself and take it from me, get a cheap laser printer. Regardless of what people will tell you about how many pages you get from an ink cartridge, it never comes close. Head cleans, purging when installing new inks, all wastes ink. Refilled/non-genuine inks are more hassle than theyre worth as the ink is not designed for the printer it dries up and blocks the head, forces you to do more head cleans etc. Inkjets are only good if your using them for high quality photos and use them frequently. dont use them for a month and the head will be blocked. get a laser printer!