I used HP printers for years starting with a LaserJet II. From about 2000 on, they were nothing but trouble, constant cartridge errors, clogs, etc. With both OEM and non-OEM ink. One with a scanner had the scanner self-destruct after about 20 page scans. About 5 years ago, I bought a canon. It's been through about 150 non-OEM cartridges. It's sat idle for a month and it's printed 200 photos in a day. And it works like a dream every time. This isn't really a plug for Canon, but HP is just so unbelievably bad. Nobody should buy their printers.
Canon have similar shitty tricks, you're right on them being miles better than HP or lexmark for that matter. Canon and epson are the only two with more good than bad but they both have issues. My main printer is a Canon Pro-10 (precisioncolor aftermarket ink refilling of oem carts) for photos and 13"x19" stuff and I also have a few ip4600 and ip4700's and still use the latter model. The general low ends like the IP4700 have issues with excessive cleaning cycles though despite using oem carts and good resetter, some claim it is much worse if detects 3rd party carts or disable the ink monitor (it isn't optical these days). Nasty habit of spraying out half the cart in cleaning cycles in short period for no real reason.
The pro-10 is MUCH better and only downside is it wont manage ICC profiles it printer for the paper I want in borderless mode (I use ilford gold silk mostly) BUT I disabled printer management and do it all in software with full 10bit start to end workflow and it is perfect. It isn't the cost difference between models though as I stayed away from the Pro-1 as many say it is MUCH worse on ink hogging/wasting for no percievable difference in prints despite extra greys.