Generally, I love HP printers. However, my little photosmart C1580 has been a painful experience.
Let me count the ways:
HP is constantly downloading updates to the drivers and other stuff on my machine. In Vista, this is creating a situation where I'm asked constantly to grant access to the HP updating app. Please...it's just a printer and I don't want to be notified on a daily/weekly basis that you have updated something. I just want to print reports, occasional emails, and other stuff.
The Photosmart seems to burn through color ink. When this happens, whenever I print, I receive a dialog box asking to print in black. After I OK this dialog, the printer also forces me to confirm that I will only print in black. This is taking place during every print job. Since 99% of what I print is black/white, this 2 pronged combination of prompts (that force a reply) is painful.
Recently, my little printer just stopped printing. It would flash some series of error lights (and never really throw an error message). After 30 minutes of browsing web sites, I found some articles on giving the printer a hard boot (I had other ideas involving a window). Here is one of those articles: http://www.mlnarik.com/jewel/2009/05/21/how-i-fixed-my-hp-c5180-printer/
Earlier today, one of the ink cartridges ran out of ink. The small panel on the printer indicated that I must replace the cartridge, but did not provide the name of the color. Instead, it provided a small square with the color the cartridge to replace. I'm not color blind, however, the color didn't match any of installed cartridges. Just a name would have been very helpful.
In network mode, the printer is always grabbing a new IP address, and this breaks all installed printers configured on multiple machines. Sure, I understand DHCP, and I know the little fella needs an address, but it's painful to constantly reconfigure desktops just to 're find' the printer. I've now assigned a static IP address to the printer (whew)
I have always been a strong believer in HP - this printer has me rethinking that position.