I have generally used Epson printers. I like the quality I get.
I print a few 4x6 photos and some hybrid stuff.
Other than that, I will get bulk photos printed locally.
When I have done larger projects, like invitations and announcements,
I use ink and usually have to replace the cartridges. My current printer takes 5 different cartridges and wont print if one of them is out, even if I just want to print up some directions in black only.
The cost of ink is something I would look in too also, when you are shopping for your printer. I had great plans to do lots of books and projects, but replacing the ink was getting too expensive. It is cheaper for me to go to Target and have holiday cards printed than to use my own printer and make some fun digi-style card.