I sell printers at Staples. These are my thoughts about printers.
Questions to Ask Yourself.
Do you print Black and Color?
Do you print Photos on glossy photo paper?
Do you need the Fax machine built in?
How much do you print a month?
Are you going to be using this printer with more than one computer?
Do you have limited space for where you are going to put the printer?
Are you going to be taking the printer with you anywhere?
Do you want auto 2 sided printing?
And I'm sure there are some other questions that are good to ask but I forget :)
Usually after answering the questions above it can break down the large selection of printers down to a couple that are right for you.
As far as Ink goes. I compare ink cost to gasoline. If you want to drive you have to spend however much the gas price is. It's the same with ink. Ink is really never cheap. If you get a cheaper set of ink. A lot of times It will not last as long or leak. Buying name brand ink normally works better in your printer but it's more expensive.
You want to narrow your search down to a couple printers that you like and will do everything you need.
Then find out what ink cartridges they take.
Then compare the prices of the cartridges and the amount of printed pages it gives you.
Go with the printer that gives you the best print volume and the lowest price for the set of cartridges.
I prefer HP printers myself. I'm a big HP fan and they have been working well for me for years.
"About printers breaking" You often pay for what you get in my opinion. Not saying more expensive printers will not break but, This usually plays a big part in the life span of a printer. All you can do about this is get a protection plan if your worried about your printer breaking. Not many places repair printers.
Hope this helps Thanks!