I've not heard anyone refer to HP cartridges as being cheap, but on the whole the printers are good.
Epson printers are good value, and the ink is reasonably priced. If you want to take the chance you can get very cheap compatible cartridges. Personally I always use compatibles and not had a problem yet.
Kodak probably have the cheapest genuine ink carts (on a per page basis) but I had one recently and setup was a nightmare, wireless connectivity flaky at best, and the genuine carts kept failing.
In the whole, I'd recommend Epson...