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Looking to replace an HP 8600 OfficeJet Pro All-in-One Printer

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Last Modified: 2015-01-06
Background:
I purchased an 8600 Officejet All-in-One Printer about a year and a half ago. Research suggested it would fit my needs:

- Features: Print | Copy | Scan | Fax (Optional)
- Usage: moderate black and white copying/printing, occasional scanning, color prints and/or photos.
- Windows 7 compatible

At the time, the ratings were good. Estimated cost per month was reasonable. Unfortunately, the ratings did not factor in extra ink usage/wasted for "printer maintenance".  (I expected a little, but not this much). Also, despite what the manual says, I didn't find any way to print with black ink ONLY.  It's used for b/w about 90% of the time. However, the 8600 still seems to blow through color cartridges, like there's no tomorrow. If any one of the individual color cartridges is empty, it won't print - at all.  The estimated color level sensors are poor. For example, the last time a color cartridge ie "Y" was empty, the printer reported the other two were at ~20% and 30%. As soon as I replaced the empty one, the printer suddenly reports the other two are empty. I know every printer has pros/cons, but ... geez.

Question:
Anyway, I'm now looking around for another printer. Suffice it to say - NOT another HP ;-)  Any recommendations and/or experiences from folks that have had an HP 8600 series?

- Was your experience with 8600 better/worse/same?
- If you switched, what brand/model did you switch to?
- Does it support printing with black ink only?
- Was your new printer better/worse in terms of ink usage and quality?
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