The root of the problem is the low price of inkjet printers these days. Same goes for computers and virtually everything else you buy.
Every commercial company is out to make a profit. When the product becomes commoditized -- like printers and computers -- competition is based largely on price. This means the profit the company is making per unit gets less and less, so they start looking for other ways to cut costs. Moving jobs to Mexico, then China when Mexico got to expensive, and now they're being moved to Vietnam, Nigeria, and other third world countries, because even China is getting too expensive. In addition, every corner that can possibly be cut on production usually will be cut. The quality of parts going into computers since someone started offering a sub-$2000 computer has plummeted along with the price of systems.
The very simple reality, is that the great deal you thought you got, wasn't so great after all. It's just taken until now for some of the non-monetary hidden costs to show up. This isn't to say you always get what you pay for, but typically higher end items will have higher margins on them, and be higher quality.
With inkjet printers, the printers themselves are sold at a loss usually. Printer companies make it up on the back end with inflated cartridge prices. But the printers are still constructed pretty poorly most of the time, so they will break down. Usually the cheapest route is to just buy cheap printers, and then get a new one once the supplied ink runs out. Inkjet printers aren't worth getting attached to.
My last printer, an Epson, didn't even last 2 years.
I now have a Canon S750 printer, about 3 years old. I don't print high volumes, maybe 300 A4 sheets per year, including some photos. I have been quite happy with it, but it has now stopped printing colour correctly. Over the course of about 10 full colour prints it went from perfect to streaky, then to hardly coloured at all. It still prints just fine in black.
I ran through all of the maintenance tasks, including head alignments, deep cleaning etc.,twice but to no avail. I renewed all 4 ink cartridges, but still no good.
Am I right in thinking that my only remaining options are a new printhead, or a new printer?
As far as I can see printheads cost about 60% of the cost of a comparable new printer. so it hardly seems worth it.
Am I missing something? Is there anything else I can try?
By the way, I have tried to economise by not using Canon original ink cartridges. Is that likely to have caused my problem?