I've got the Dell All-In-One model 964. No problems here. It came with the system for only $99, but I have to buy cartridges from Dell exclusively and that adds up over time if you do a lot of printing. I could probably save some money and go to Walgreens or CVS to get the cartridges reloaded, but I've never done that.
My wife has the HP C4250 All-In-One and it works fine too. $99 from Sam's Club and ink cartridges are available anywhere.
I've been using a Brother 4100 for about five years now, still works fine. I like HP's professional grade hardware but you would do well to do a 'driver only' install and skip all the little doo-dad software that comes with it.
Old HP 4P.. Cheap as heck for your black and white needs.. 1500-3000 copies per cartridge. Runs me about 35 bucks with shipping if I dont go through HP. Color copying... we have a few of them. But this rocks on B&W... What more do I need for the office.
BTW MB you can often find them used on line for about 150.00 for a reconditioned. They have a serious following.. Runs like a plug in on XP.
I use mine daily, Kids too. I am on my 3rd ream of paper and no signs of degradation on my print. Crisp. It is just old fashioned toner tech. Just like a copier.
BTW ... I can service it myself with a phillips head screwdriver and a cotton swab. I had it in storage for 5 years... Put a new catridge in it after a lil cleaning and she fired right up... These things sold for over a grand new.... figure....
What are your printing needs? I don't print much so I'm fine with the cheap printers. My current is a Lexmark P915 that can print photo quality. Ink is pricey but I don't use it much and the printer cost $120. No scanner, but I've probably only needed a scanner 4-5 times in the last 5 years.
lasers use toner and fuse it to the paper, it won't run or fade if it gets old or wet. Inkjets use liquid ink that dries on the paper, most of it is water soluable and it fades somewhat over time.
Some lasers use a toner cartridge with a built in imaging drum (more expensive cartridge), some keep the drum separate(less expensive cartridge). The drum has to be replaced every so often so it can be an additional maintenance expense.
Cheaper (in price) lasers generally have the built in drum type of cartridge.
Most inkjets are designed as disposable technology. Stuff goes wrong with the heads or the waste ink reservoir gets full and you toss it for a new one. They work well as long as you use them regularly. Not necessarily a lot, just enough to keep the heads from drying out and clogging.