The printer saga has a happy ending

As was written in the first week of January, I've been looking for a high- quality photo printer. At MacWorld, I was repeatedly told that the right printer to get was the Epson Stylus Photo 2200, with its 80-year archival inks and beautiful black and white reproduction, it seemed like a winner.

That is, until you try to buy one...

Upon my return (January 13), I decided to buy one of these, so I called the local dealers and they were out of stock (not surprising, since the printer is pretty high-end). I then went online to my favorite shopping info sites: and PriceWatch to see what prices and availability was like. The sad news was that nearly nobody had them and they were priced at list.

I chose CDW, because they were listing next day delivery and ordered one up. With some surprise (I have only had this problem once before with them), they emailed the next day to indicate that most of the items (paper, ink) had shipped, but that the printer was on back-order. I was annoyed and called them to see delivery times. The word was not good: unknown.

So, I spent the next day or two looking hard to find somebody and the local CompUSA Express in Reston told me they were getting them in on Friday (17 Jan) and that I could have one then. I "patiently" waited for Friday, but never got a call. When I contacted them, they said it missed the truck and would be FedEx'd. When I contacted them on Monday, they said it was FedEx'd, but that it was sent ground, so it would be there on Wednesday.

Wednesday came and went and they said "oh, we have a tracking number, I'll check it out and get back to you".

Thursday came without a call and I stopped in and spoke to the manager (Ed) and he indicated he'd look into it and get back to me.

Friday came and I called Ed and he apologized for not getting back to me, and he would call me back. Later that day he finally did, and the news was not good: it didn't ship, they never had a tracking number, there were only 2 in all of CompUSA and the guys in Honolulu were not giving them up, and they expected a shipment in about 2 weeks.... I was not, shall we say, happy. At this point, I was still laboring under the misconception that I'd be getting one from them, so short of the scattered calls to local providers, I hadn't concentrated on getting it further afield.

I was annoyed, dejected, and without printer. So, I went to the Apple web site for no good reason and stopped in the store to check delivery times on Airport Extremes (which I still haven't ordered), etc. and there I saw the picture of the printer. I clicked and, sure enough, they sell the Epson Stylus Photo 2200...

Despite knowing in my heart they would be like everybody else, I clicked to add it to my cart to see the delivery times. It said 1-2 days... what? could it be? Probably not, I'd hear that before from CDW. I ordered it anyway.

Saturday AM I received a shipping confirmation from Apple. The printer arrived Monday. We set it up, and it was well worth the hassle. Despite the need to download newer drivers for OS X, it is a beautiful printer!