The monthly volume.
The HP 9500, for example, is designed for 5.000 to 25.000 pages a month (not recommended to go to the maximum of 200.000, it seems). Assuming it lasts 3 years, that's 900.000 pages (36*25.000) for $ 6.000 or less than 1 cent depreciation per page. Doesn't sound too bad (of course, there's maintenance and toner also).
But you might prefer one of the lower-end printers from http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/en/WF02a/18972-18972-3328060.html
Or even another manufacturer.
Also note that there are offerings of printer leases against an all-in price per copy, including everything. That's like leased cars. No investment, and if it's broke the repair is included also. Might be interesting for a starting business.
I'm wondering if anyone can give me some recommendations for a high quality, reasonably priced color laser printer. I'm starting an invitation and card business and need something to print the cards from. I've spoke with a few other people that have the same business and most print their cards right from their own printer. The two names that keep coming up are Canon and Rikoh but I don't see any reviews here on those two brands. I bought a lexmark black & white laser printer years ago to make cards with so I could run vellum through it and it never fed right, even regular paper would jam or feed 20 sheets threw at a time. Lemark got high reviews here from cnet but not from users so i'm not eager to go with another Lexmark. So what I need is something that prints high quality in both color & black/white for text & graphics...speed is not as important, but feeding is....I do not want to have to stand there and individually feed every sheet. I need something that can handle card stock and vellum, as well as smaller print sizes, 3x5 cards, but it does not have to be larger than 8.5x11 if it does that's a plus. And of course prices is always important. I am using a mac platform, leopard operating system.
Thanks for any suggestions