Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II
Dude, my new printer is outstanding. Just for fun I tried to print one of those fractal Mandelbrot images, and the printer beat my expectations in: 1) speed (less than two minutes for a full A3), 2) quietness (I could barely hear it working in the next room), 3) sharpness, and 4) colors. The details and color just pop. Awesome for home-made posters.
I also printed the leaf-picture on the right (from this set). The first try was not bad, but did not "pop" like I'd hoped. So I went to the glossy, fancy paper. And also I remembered something: that printed pictures usually look darker and less saturated than they do on the screen, it's just in the nature of things, so you have to compensate for that. And also sharpen them a bit more for print. And my second print of that one really does pop. Nice stuff.
To be honest I think the glossy paper was much less important than the adjustments I made. Unlike in darkroom days, there's nothing at all inferior about matte paper.
Update: yep, I tested it now: there is nothing inferior about the matte paper at all, but it's a third of the price and does not have reflections. And if you're going to mount a print behind glass, glossy paper makes no sense anyhow.
Second update: oddly enough, though, the paper does make a difference with a (faintly sepia) BW photo. The details stand out somewhat better on the glossy. But how clear the difference is also depends on the light. Clearly inkjet printing is not bereft of the complexities we are used to in this world.
A tip by the way: I think it helps almost any print to have a grey border instead of a white (or black) one. It just lets the tones and colors come into their own fully.
Man, when I remember the black magic and back-breaking work you had to go through to make good pictures in a darkroom. And that was just black-and-white. For color it was... well, nigh impossible, and even if you were good, there was no way of controlling contrast, local tone and detail, and all the things you can do at the flick of a mouse today.