I wouldn't necessarily say its the nature of inkjets that you have to print something every couple of weeks. I used to sell prints at art shows in the summer as a hobby. I owned a Canon IPF5000 wide format printer. Because of the seasonal nature of my business I would do a ton of printing for 3-4 months, and then shutdown and unplug the printer for the other 8-9 months. Each year, I would plug it back it, it would run through 1 cleaning cycle, and it worked beautifully without any clogs or other degredation. Granted, that is a more professional series printer, and it uses pigment based inks, but I'm just saying that it's certainly possible for a printer to work fine after long periods of inactivity.
For random everyday printing, I used a canon i950, and it too would do decent even when it went for a period without use. And it wasn't too bad consumable cost wise, as far as printers go. But I usually printed enough that I was having to replace the cartridge about twice a year for a cost over $100/year (and it did break once, and I replaced it with a refurb i960). 3 years ago I got dell multifunction color laser on sale for $250 shipped. Toner now costs about $10-$15/year, so the printer has just about paid for itself already (plus it's nice to have a scanner with a sheet feeder).