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| p.1 #3 · Epson 7900 or outsource... |
With a bit of common sense, regular maintenance, and regular use---a wide format printer should prove to be very reliable. I'm running a 4800 for cards, 9900 for most all printing, and a 9890 converted to K7 B&W MPS gloss and matte printing. If you monitor your humidity levels, keep the printer area clean, replace the wiper assembly at least annually, and print regularly you will probably escape any complaints regarding print head clogging that are voiced over the internet.
I'd skip third party inks. You can opt for the 700 ml cartridges if you really print a lot and want more of a bulk savings. I do quite a bit of printing for my own studio work and for others and find that the 350 ml cartridges work fine, though I'm using all 700 ml cartridges at the moment.