Had epsons and had nothign but the heads cloggin up
So not bought one for many a year.
Moved to Canon's when they started getting good arounf th i450 time.
There are two types of Canons though one that uses heads built in to the cartridge and one that have removable 'fixed' print heads.
Ignore the removable part though as it's cheaper just to buy a new printer.
As for the cartridges you can shop around an buy them reasonably cheap, though they do seem expensive they 'head built into the cartridge; fo not waste their ink through many cleaning cycles.
Look on ebuyer.com and canon currently have cashback offers so you can pick up an MP210 (which includes a scanner, good for copying the suduko and for children to scan their fingers in) for about £35 then you have the £15 rebate.
Check out the cartridge prices though around the web to see if you can afford them in one go.