The reason why a new printer is cheaper then a new ink cartridge has to do with the fact that the ink cartridges which come with the printer are usually half full, or even quarter full. Knowing this; check out the HP website and look up the number of prints you can do with your shiny piece of plastic crap that supposed to be a printer. The number of prints possible is significantly less then the price of the ink.The reason for this is probably the generic brank inks. The printing industry works according to the razor and blade strategy. First; you take a (relatively) expensive product (razor), and put it out for (relatively) cheap. The trick is to make sure the product needs renewables. Then; take the (relatively) cheap renewable (blade) and sell it (ridiculously) expensive. People will buy the razor (printer) at a reduced price, but overpay cfor the blade (ink).Then comes generic ink. Which started to put its paw in the ridiculously expensive ink market. The next step for the printer industry was to simply create new printers; with different cartridges. At first this wasn't much of a challenge since molding plastic in a different shape was usually a no brainer for the people doing the generic brands. The next step is to include different ways of talking to the ink dispensers. There's already quite some "intelligence" in these toss-away cartridges. Though originally just a port which started the `dump ink' and `stop dumping ink' functionality, I think it won't be long before these things will have more processing power then some of the computers I've got at home*. Disposable computing is coming our way rapidly; but not in the package we expected it to have.Anyway; my personal solution to the problem was a bigass laser printer. CUPS nicely kept track of what I have printed over time; and with that you can calculate the average number of prints per month. Considering most of the time these where A4-size full colour printouts (mothers and computers do not go well together. I've explained the workings of f-spot at least three times; I took the numbers from the HP site (which was my printer at the time) and got to the conclusion each printout costed about 1 euro in ink. This is, off course, assuming all colours run out at the same speed; which isn't true since I tended to consistantly get green-ish pictures once the colour cartridge was empty.After that, I went and found out how much it would cost should I print this out on an expensive business laser printer. IIrc at the time was ~10 cents. Hence, it would take about 500 printouts before I got to the brake even point. And the came-with-the-printer laser-cartridges would only be half empty by then (well they already came half-empty; so actually they would be 3/4 empty). In case you were wondering; this was including the printer. So... should you be looking for a new printer (probably not) you may want to check out http://www.eff.org/pages/list-printers-whi...y-tracking-dots to see if the printer do not waste ink on proving they are the one have printed the page. (this is probably a bad method for making sure your prints aren't tracable; if that's the goal; best would probably be to take 3 or 4 trackable printers, and print different parts of the document with the different printers. The unique tracability would likely be negated by the over-abundance of tracking information. :-)* I have quite some of old stuff; SGI indy old; so it's not that hard to top.