tjdennis2 - isn't it "choice" that's caused this problem? For similar functionality, most customers' choice is based on the ticket price in the shop, not the total cost of ownership. By exercising choice in this way the customers have caused the manufacturers to drive down ticket price to the point where the manufacturers make a loss on the printer, so they have to make the money up somewhere else.
Maybe if we all stop making stupid, lazy choices then the manufacturers will price differently.
I'm interested to see where the Epson Eco Tank printers go. They are pricey, but not too different from some other pretty average printers which have pretty poor ink usage and cartridge costs. The cynic in me expects there to be a catch.