I'll be buying a Z3100 pretty soon, but actually buying one is, of course, a bit more difficult than going down to CompUSA and picking a box off the shelf.
Buying directly from HP is an option, except for the fact that they seem to be perpetually out of stock. Interestingly, while you can buy a roughly US$20,000 printer through their web store, you can't seem to order the Z3100. The HP sales guy I talked with didn't seem to know when they would be back in stock. He promoted the idea that buying from HP would mean good support. (But doesn't HP provide support, wether or not you buy directly from them?)
On this and other forums, folks talk about their local dealers. I assume that the price would be higher, but the dealer is the first line of support. As our first large format plotter, support sounds like a good idea. You would think that as the third largest city in the US, I'd be tripping over dealers in the Chicago area, but the HP large format (mostly technical/CAD) dealers whom I've contacted aren't carrying the Z series. (I'd love to get some recommendations, if anyone can suggest a Chicago-area dealer.)
(Of course the seemingly 'cheapest' option would be some 'box pusher' web site - I've seen them listed as in stock, free shipping and under US$6,000 with free shipping. But, obviously, there would be zero support from these online retailers.)
So what have folks here found to be the best option?