Hi Peter, the Canon does have issues, but so do Epson printers -- they're just different issues. For example, current Epson printers tend to clog, and despite lots of useful information posted here and elsewhere on the web, the consensus seems to be that there are multiple causes for the clogging issue and there isn't a single silver bullet for fixing it. In contrast, the Canon ipf5000 doesn't appear to have a clogging issues, at least not as far as I've been able to determine from user experiences and reports.
You have to find the printer that suits your needs. If you want something easier to use than the Canons, try the HP B9180, Epson 2400, or Epson 3800. If you don't want to deal with clogs, then go for the HP B9180. If you also need 17" wide printing, then you'll have to wait -- the only clog-free 17" wide pigment printer on the market now is the Canon ipf5000.
Good luck ...