This is not a full on review of the 820 but more of an attempt to redress some of the criticisms of this printer which seem to me to be unduly harsh. Since 2002 this has been my main photo printer. Yes, I have got frustrated with it at times. No, I would not recommend this printer to the casual user but if you're an enthusiastic photographer on a limited budget looking for more that 3 inks, this printer could be what you're looking for. For the past few years it has produced consistently good prints.
I'm not going to deny that this printer sometimes clogs but there are precautions and fixes and it's an ink jet after all and clog is what ink jets do best. The first precaution is to turn the printer off when you're not using it. This will park the heads in a tray that helps to stop them from clogging. Despite this precaution, after a month of inactivity I do find the heads clogged sometimes when I return to the printer. In this instance I use a trick that will, no doubt, void your warranty but seems to work well without harming the printer; I press the button to move the heads into position for cartridge replacement. I then put a couple of drops of windex on the park tray pad and then turn the printer off so the heads go and sit on the windex for 5 minutes or more. When I go back to the printer I run check print head utility and the clean print head utility once (if required). Usually that takes care of any problems and I'm ready to go.
I always use epson ink and high quality paper. I don't use the printer for anything but photos (I have a great hp laser for everything else). I have taken the time to color profile my monitor and I print my photos via photoshop letting it take care of the printer's color profile. I always use the highest settings available to print photos - yes, it takes a bit more ink, but the results are worth it. I estimate each 8.5x11 glossy print I do costs me a bit over a buck but the control and great results I achieve are worth it. I can even get pretty good and neutral B&W prints out of this machine using Epson's own driver set to monochrome (don't use the 'black ink only' option - let it use all the inks and the results are very good).
I'm not advocating that you go out and buy this printer at this point as there are now much better options available. I am advocating that you don't give up on this printer so easily if you already own it - it is worth investing a little time and effort in. That said, I am am now ready to upgrade (June 2006). I want to be able to produce bigger prints. I want individual ink cartridges. Most of all I want to put that bottle of windex that lives in my office back under the sink where it belongs.