Well, here's a first for me: go to local Dick Smith's, buy a cheap printer, for my wife (HP Deskjet 3940, AU$66). Because I don't really care about printing from Linux, I didn't care if it works or not on that OS, just bought whatever Windows printer was cheapest.
Brought it home, plugged it into my PC (in Windows) and it works, after installing drivers and software and about 15 mins of setup time.
For the heck of it, I rebooted to Linux to see what would happen. Well lordy “New hardware detected: HPdeskjet3940” and an offer to set it up. After 5 minutes — just accepting all the standard options — out comes a test page, in colour, bi-directional and fast.
Neat. Linux is ready for me….