The canons do head cleanings but they generally don't use too much ink. Of course I refill so the cost or how much ink I use isn't an issue for me. I use a canon by the way). It is a little more expensive at first (to get started) but it is worth it if you print a lot. 4oz bottles are about 8$ for dye ink so including the cost of special refillable cartriges and syringes, it comes to the equivalent of about 1$ per cartrige or less. Thats not using cheap ink either. The stuff I am using is top quality, photographic quality ink that has been independantly tested for fade resistance and color gamut and it can hold it's own against canon ink. The brand is media street and if I am not mistaken, the canons have larger cartriges than the epsons so you would get more refills with an epson. I know that they also make ink for epsons but am not sure about the quality (I would assume that it is decent). Compatible cartriges are a good idea if you don't want to mess with refilling but refilling is defanatlly cheaper. If you are interested, give a call to the company I linked to above and see what they have for your printer. If they make the empty refillable cartriges for your model printer, I highly recomend them. It makes it easier.
By the way, this is a really weird coincidence, but about 30 minutes ago my wife was cleaning up some stuff and she hands me an invoice (for the last time I bought ink) and asks "do you need this". The last time I ordered ink was 1/21/04 (those 4oz bottles last pretty long). I still have a decent amount of ink left.