I have an Epson 1430 wide format printer along with an Epson Artison 810. My 1430 does an amazing job on my 12x12 pages and I only just replaced my ink cartridges. The "sample size" non-standard cartridges printed 40 12x12 pages and 84 8x8 pages. I am thrilled with the value so far. Yes, you pay a lot for photo paper. I use matte photo to get the best results - glossy smears. You can also print back and front on a matte photo paper. My biggest issue with 12x12 photo paper is that it is difficult to find locally.
My wide format 1430 does a much better job than my 810.