Looks like I'll remain a luddite for some time - all second hand stuff and not top of the range equipment but Pentax ME Super and a couple of lenses in addition to the std one seems to keep me quite happy.
Printer wise, I have stuck with Epson and have been quite happy with them. I did have a print head go (clog beyond all hope) on my Stylus 440 but that seemed to be connected to me refilling cartridges.
Having said that, I do wonder about the economics - lets say a cartridge costs £20 and I could do 5 refills for that price. One could argue that you don't need to get away with many refills before you are in credit to the tune of a new printer which of course would by that time be of later and higher quality (for the same money) than the one you are replacing. I'm being a good boy now though with my Stylus 880.
Thinking inkjets, I believe Epson use a different technology to the rest. If I have it right: HP, Cannon and others use a thermal process to create a bubble which "bursts" to squirt the ink and Epson use a piezzo mechanisim. I seem to remember reading somewhere that in theory this gives Epsons better control over the jet and that they have more flexibility in ink design as the inks don't have to be heat tolerant. Where this is true or makes any real difference in practice may be another matter...