This printer was reviewed in the 12/2002 edition of PC Mag (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,726342,00.asp
), so it's not that
Inability to get carts easily and having to order direct from Sony = you'll be paying premium prices.
A quick check on eBay just now shows these printers selling in the low-$20's - $50 range. I was not able to find anyone selling cartridges for them, however. That's unusual considering one can usually find just about anything on eBay, even hard-to-get ink carts. Draw your own conclusions.
At the moment I'm using an older technology HP Deskjet 895cse. It's sufficient for my immediate needs. To accomodate forthcoming large format prints I'm seriously considering the Canon i9900 (replacement for i9100). I'm encouraged by reviews on the i9100 I've read as well as very favorable comments from Canon owners. In theory the i9900 should be even better.
Good luck moving forward.