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Printers in Linux

I want to buy a (not to expensive color) printer which will be used on a
Linux-only-box, and I wonder of any of you has some good ideas about it.

I've looked around, among others at
www.picante.com/~gtaylor/pht/printer_list.cgi, but as far as I can see the
only printer that is sold in The Netherlands which works perfectly is the
HP 610C . But for 30 US$ more, I have a HP 710 C which should print two
times faster. But according to the webpage you need a special program
pbm2ppa and you can't print plain text.  This problem is with almost all
the printers. What does this mean, that everything in ASCII you want to
print is automaticaly converted to DVI/PS and you won't notice the
difference, except that cat file > /dev/lp1 maybe doesn't work?

The printers I've seen here in Holland are, a.o.
HP 610, 710, 720, 815, 840, 880
Epson 460, 660, 760
Canon 2000, 3000, 6100
I can't find any of the printers in magicfilter and apsfilter. 

Then another question, someone will come here with a laptop and want to
take files from my Linux-box to his windows98-laptop. Does someone know a
good webpage/HOWTO how to do that, according to what I've seen it's
done with a null-modem. I don't have time to Trial & Error
with the laptop, so a specific HOWTO would be appreciated. As far as I
found out it should be something with pppd with the option local.



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