Julian wow what a statement..I am not going to argue what you say BUT I find your statement to be very slanted towards Epson and HP. my company sells all three canon,HP and Epson. Each has its place and pros and cons for sure However your coments about service and just getting into Photo are off..They do a very good job today at this. Read some of the posts on this board and many others.
I agree with Jim about Julian's comments. In addition, Julian says that he is suspicious about the semi-permanent print heads used by Canon. Could someone please clarify? Isn't that similar to the technology used by HP in the Z series -- and didn't Julian write yet another rave review about that printer? The HP print heads are clearly user replaceable and semi-permanent. So why is that technology OK for HP in Julian's judgment but not for Canon?
What we need are reviews that directly compare the printers. Julian did not do that. He wrote a rave review for HP, and then wrote a rave review for Epson. Why send him a Canon so that he can post yet another rave review? What is lacking in both reviews is a direct comparison of each feature, and why one printer is worse, equal or better than the other.
I'm waiting for Michael Reichman's review of the Epson 7900. He posted in this forum in early November (two months ago!) that he took delivery of a 7900, and would compare it to the Z3100 and one of the Canon models. To Michael's credit, he writes really useful reviews that directly compare similar models of printers and cameras. Michael calls it like he sees it, and directly compares the models. Those are the only reviews that are useful, as compared with rave reviews from those who sell the merchandise or those who are paid to write and publish positive reviews.
Having said that, these type of threads about "which printer should I buy" are a gross waste of time for everyone. A majority of the the posts in these type of threads are from people who simply post to justify their purchase.
Dan, use the search function. There are hundreds of posts about the HP Z series, many about Canon, and a smaller number about the newer Epson 7900. You need to take the time to read through them. Yes, it might take three or four hours. But you are about to spend thousands of dollars.
Read through the posts and come to your own conclusions. It isn't difficult to spot those who are cheer leaders for a particular manufacturer and will defend that manufacturer and a particular printer until the end of time. They deny all problems no matter how many people report serious problems with quality, reliability or tech support. It also isn't difficult to spot those with an ax to grind. (Candidly, some might accuse me of that with regards to a particular printer, which is why I am not making a recommendation here. I have no desire to engage in these polemical threads that debate which is better.)
Read through the posts, look for general trends, and come to your own conclusion. The few posts in this thread honestly are such a tiny snapshot that they are not useful.
Julian's comment about the Canon support system is a good example of why you should not be reading just this thread, but should read all of the posts for the printer(s) you are interested in for the last one to two years. I have never owned a Canon, and have no ax to grind in that regard. But it pretty clear, based on the postings, that Canon had serious problems with support two years ago, but cleaned up their act over a year ago. I have not read many recent complaints about Canon tech support, and those who write on the Canon wiki appear to be of the opinion that Canon now provides good customer support. The same can't be said for one of the other manufacturers where there have consistently been problems reported with reliability and tech support. Again, read ALL of the postings.
Finally, get a printer that is reliable. No matter how good the printed output might be, if the printer has problems with drivers, software, sheet feeding, tech support, clogging, or general reliability -- it will be more of a hassle than it is worth. Get a printer that works day in and day out.
Probably such a perfect printer doesn't exist -- but that should be your goal nonetheless.