I have two old HP LaserJet 1100 printers, and one HP LaserJet 3200 All-In-One Printer/fax/scanner, and they're worth their weight in gold. The 3200 Fax machine is almost 12 years old and going strong, and printed about 1,500 pages on each $50 toner cartridge
The printers put out roughly the same count before they went dry (but they don't have page counters) - try that with a inkjet, and you'll have replaced the ink cartridge about 30 times compared to one toner. The toner cartridges cost you a bit more, but you change them far less often.
Even if you only print a few pages a day, the costs quickly make a laser printer the way to go. People get burned because they only look at the initial purchase price that makes inkjets attractive, and not the per-page cost of owning the printer.
And lasers work just fine on any old paper you have around, as long as it's clean. Lots of dust and crud in the cheap imported 'recycled' papers can gum up the innards of the printer, but name brand paper should be fine even if it's marked 'Inkjet' or 'multi-purpose'. Printers with a straight-through bypass door (so the paper doesn't have to make a U-turn to the output tray) will work fine printing on card or cover stock.
I have a few inkjet printers around, but never seem to use them - if I need to print pictures, the results are much better (and much cheaper) if I take the media to Costco and get them exposed and developed on real photo print paper. The only thing that inkjets do that laser can't is iron-on transfers - or at least, I think so...
The way prices are dropping for color laser printers, I may end up with one of those the next time I have a decent reason for buying one. It would make using spot color practical - Do the artwork in the computer and print the letterhead and the letter all in one pass.
Oh, and Alex: With a color copier you don't have to change all four toner cartridges and the drum at the same time. One color runs dry, you change it. (But Murphy's Law says you should have one spare cartridge of each color on hand for those Saturday Night RUSH jobs.) The drum and transfer belt (if equipped) should last through three or four sets of cartridges, I'd wait till I could see visible problems with the output before changing it - or if it's been 10 years you toss the printer and get a new one, they will have gotten even better and cheaper by then.
Another trick with laser printers, especially color ones: Sometimes they ship them with the "Standard" or "Starter" cartridges that only have 500 pages worth of toner inside - but the ones they sell as replacements are the "High Capacity" cartridges that will do 2,500. Sneaky, but at least they tell you on the box. Makes the "throw out the empty printer and buy a new one" dodge a bit less practical.
NOTE: Do not buy Lexmark printers. They invented a wonderful new game, they have a computer chip in their toner cartridges that ostensibly monitors the toner level, but it just counts pages and says "Empty" after the count is exceeded, and can not be reset so the cartridges can't be recycled. And they have kept generic cartridges off the market by claiming DMCA Copyright on the software on that chip, nobody can make a substitute. That means they are the only source for refills, so they can charge whatever they want for consumables with no price competition - Not Fair.
--<< Bruce >>--