I had one of the original Epson 1270 photo printers. It was great but the prints always faded. But, hey, that was in the old days, now things are a lot better. The prints from the Epson 1270 were wonderful, and I still have a bunch in boxes and albums, kept out of direct sunlight, which look great, even all these years later.
Now I have an HP Photosmart 8750, which HP gave me during beta testing so that I could provide feedback to them. It makes beautiful prints that they say, won't fade over time. The printer is rather large and it takes up a considerable amount of space on my desktop but most similar competitive printers are about the same size.
In terms of print quality...well, a photograph which won both first prize and the People's Choice award at the Del Mar International Exhibition of photography, which was later re-printed and then subsequently hung in an exhibition at Calumet's Photographer's Gallery in Southern California, came out of this printer. Oh, by the way, when making that particular print, I didn't weak any of the settings either...just plugged it in straight out of the box and viola !
The HP 8750 printer produces rich colors (especially blue skys), fine detail, and very realistic skin tones. I have used it to produce wonderful black and white photos, which is truly one of its strong points... nice neutral grays, deep blacks, with high contrast, and good shadow detail. It prints in sizes as large as 13 x 19", with or without borders.
The printer works best when used with the HP Premium Plus Photo Paper. I suggest using matte or satin rather than glossy. When using the glossy papers the colors don't seem to "pop" as much, and the semi-gloss is less prone to finger prints when handling.
According to HP the prints (using the Vivera inks) resist photo fading when displayed under glass for more than 100 years, or in a photo album for more than 200 years • You can set your color space to Adobe® RGB and sRGB with HP's color-management tools.
The printer has slots for direct insertion of memory cards and there is a small display screen on top...you can fiddle with them and even print without a computer, but I much prefer using my computer and printing via Photoshop, as I suspect most of you do too.
On nice thing about all HP printers is that the print heads are in the ink cartridges, so every time you buy new ink cartridges, you get new print heads...no more wasting ink while trying to "clean" old print heads...something that was often necessary with my Epson 1270.
purchase an HP Photosmart 8750 printer for about $469. Here
Direct from Hewlett Packard for $399 after rebate and free shipping.