I have been victimised by this rort as you all have.
Success with refill ink has been reasonable but not trouble free. It has become more troublesome as the manufacturers add more smart chip technology to the ink cartridges. The saving has varied from 10-25%.
The cost of downtime is also huge and my last Epson took me over 12 months to get various repairs and then a replacement provided. Epson are however excellent on telephone support. Not being able to complete a project can cost days of lost productivity sometimes.
My last purchase I sprung for a colour laser for general colour printing. It has been even more expensive than the inkjet. I calculated that the true cost has been 50 cents a page overall including the 6:1 ratio of monochrome, so the actual cost of colour has been huge. Roughly $1500 for 1500 pages. And many of these pages had minimal colour, while a few had a page fully colour.
As mentioned above a laser does not print onto photo paper and for photographs is fairly hopeless unless you want newsprint quality. The quoted cartridge life for the colour toner is often 5-15% which really is no more than a colour logo or a few underlined words, so when you come to print images or graphs alone, you may only get 100 pages from a $250 (times 3) set of cartridges.
I figured one issue with inkjets that a laser would overcome is the cleaning wastage and infrequent usage blockages. I know my Epson inkjet could use an entire set of cartridges with say a dozen cleaning cycles, so consider a clean costing $10 a time. However I was wrong. While blockages have not been a problem, I have had to replace 2 toner developer units in my Kyocera FS-C2126 MFP after only 1600 pages, costing $500 a time for the parts and service.
I would recommend that you NEVER retain a colour laser beyond it's warranty period and preferably get one that has a per page service contract built in.
Lasers too can have third party refills, but also have chips in them and the printer startup procedure even looks for authentic OEM cartridges and reports on them. The situation seems to be now that lasers are getting cheaper and less reliable and the replacement toner is going through the roof. If shopping, look at the refill costs and service contracts above all else.
The philosophy 'obviously' is to extort the users for the maximum money possible. They even change the printer models as quickly as they can to a) make your printer 'old' and no longer supported, b) thwart attempts for the after-market refill people to keep up with the new toner cartridge requirements, c) reduce second-hand parts availability for any particular model, d) sell maximum stock to dealers to cover all models or to stock up before it goes out of production.
My second laser (an Apple LaserWriter NTX) did one million pages faultlessly and only ever needed toner cartridges. Additionally it was smarter than average and reported things such as page jams and no paper or wrong paper size selections straight back to the computer that sent the print job. Every printer I have owned since then has been a nightmare for service calls; before first use even, the week after the warranty expires, during the warranty and even unusual problems during normal usage requiring telephone support.
Epson support has been good. Brother support has been OK but apparently normal for them to consume parts and sometimes the software shipped is 3 years old. Canon has a myriad of software options that drive you insane - they can and do work, but take a lot of setting up. HP support is a joke, even repairs take 3 attempts with wrong parts etc and then only last 30 days once completed. Kyocera seem to be above the printer being anything to do with them - they just say 'that's the way it is' so pay and fix it or buy a new one.
I have never had any luck getting the Windows WSD (not sure if that's correct acronym) setup to work. Now I would just bypass it by default. Web searches reveal nothing but trouble. Apple computers just seem to find the printer, ask if you want to use it, and do the whole setup with no more than a 'yes' required. The whole industry needs a rocket, a revolution.
So only remedy is shop by consumable cost, service availability and warranty period.
bypass printing and spend the hundreds of dollars consumed on things like a bigger better screen, PDF workflows, email, broadband, flash drives, DVD burners and the like. Eventually printing will go the way of the Polaroid, so try and get to the front of the curve now and save the hassle.