So, I've decided to get a new printer. And it's not gonna be an Epson.
My father-in-law (Japanese Tech Dude) favors Canon, but I've noticed HP has made inroads into the Japanese market. It also seems that the Canon/HP models available in Japan and the US are using the same naming scheme, making review-scanning pretty easy.
I didn't think I would be interested in an all in one printer - but after checking out models in person at stores, I have to admit they are very sexy. I've narrowed down my choice to the HP-C5180 and the Canon Pixma MP600. Both printers have copier, scanner, color/monochrome/photo printing, card-reader slots, and an LED for photo previews. Both can use English menus on the LED. Neither printer has fax capability, but this is not a big dead for me. Both printers are about ¥20,000 and Yodobashi has a 20% points campaign.
The HP has ethernet/wireless networking built in, and a slightly smaller footprint. However, it lacks PictBridge (which I probably won't use) and only prints single-sided.
The Canon has duplex printing (HP doesn't), OCR software, and the scroll wheel menu control is far superior to the HP's sticky 4-way button. The Canon doesn't have networking built in, but I might be able to do it via USB connection to Airport (maybe - I've read different things about this). The networking thing is of dubious usage, as scanning and transfer over a network seems to be arduously slow. The Canon also has the advantage of more menu options, and seems more user friendly. This is important for my wife.
So, I've setted on the Canon MP600 at this point. I hope to get my printer this afternoon.