I brought this to replace my venerable HP DeskJet 970CXi, after it finally failed following a good 6 years of reliable service. Having initially wanted to stay with HP, I went for a Canon product after a recommendation from a friend, mainly down to his opinion of Canon printers & inks being good value for money.
The printer is a little on the bulky side, but the solid build quality is more than worth it. I have installed the drivers on XP and Windows 7 without trouble, and the updates were easily downloaded from Canon when released.
Print quality is excellent, especially on premium papers, with no noticeable bleeding or smudging. I have printed several A4 sized photos onto both matte & glossy papers, which are on display in the house. Several people have asked at which shop we had them printed, and have been impressed when told that they were done with my own printer. Text is sharp and clear, especially in 'best' mode, even using standard paper. The economy mode is perfectly adequate, and quite fast, though the speed comes at the expense of noise level. There is a quiet mode available in the settings application, but I've not noticed much of a difference. The cleaning / self testing options are excellent, and work well.
Cartridges are easy to install (Magenta, Cyan, Yellow, Black and Page Black, a set of which were included). I've yet to purchase any replacements, but the included cartridges didn't last particularly well. However, it is common practise for included cartridges to be 'short filled'. Because of this, I have also never tried any compatible inks (though I much, much prefer to use genuine inks whenever possible).
There is an adapter / caddy included for printing directly onto suitable CD / DVD / BluRay discs, which once you have got used to, is very easy to use, with on-screen prompts to assist you along the way - just be sure to select the proper option from the 'print confirmation' box. I still use an old, but useful application from the Canon website for designing said labels, and the setting for the Pixma iP4900 works just fine, and the print quality on discs is very, very good.
This printer was selling for around £120 when I purchased it, and I at that time, I may have seriously considered just 4 stars. Now that the price has dropped below the £100 mark, it warrants the extra star. A good, mid-range everyday printer.