1. Absolutely check compatibility to eliminate hassles. If your distro has built in drivers, you won't believe how easy it is to fire up your printer. If not, you won't believe how hard it is to fire up your printer.
2. linuxprinting.org has good info. Epsons and HP rank high. I personally use Samsung laser for business. Unlike epson and HP where you have to dwnload linux drivers, Samsung generally has linux drivers on the disks that come with the product, and they openly support linux. Others do, but don't admit it.
3. Go laser if affordable
4. try to buy a printer that has the printhead built into the cartridge. That way every time you get a new cartridge, you're getting a new printhead. Some of the cheaper HPs are good that way. Epsons have permanent PHs and once they're clogged it's all over. Also Many new printers including Epsons are inserting chips to discourage refilling.
5. I bought an old Canon bj100 for family use: picked it up for $5 at thrift shop (press and hold page feed, then hit 'on' to self test) here's why they're cool.
They have a HUGE (25ml) inktank
For small 5-10 page jobs they're perfect
small footprint- fits right on top of the PC tower
Unlike most modern printers, they work when there's no colored ink..........it's a black only printer!
And, the kids can't use up all the colored ink because................oh yeah, i forgot, 'cause there's no colored ink! .....oh yea! uh huh