I would have to say as much as I like my HP Photosmart 7550 Printer and as good as it is, it is still not at the level of the commercial photo printers. I get good quality from the printer, but after buying cartridges and paper I think it may be just as cost efficient to pay for online commercial photo processing. I will still use the printer, but as it is actually already outdated and trying to keep up with the latest and greatest photo printer would keep someone continually swapping out printers and spending money, I think I may have found a fairly convenient alternative for me. There are a lot of online sites that will process your photos for you, but one of the big companies to recently jumped into the online commercial photo processing fray is Wal Mart. What is the convenience of this you might say. How about 3,000 distribution points. Unlike, HP, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Nikon, Ofoto, ImageStation, Fuji, Photoworks, etc.., I can go to my local Wal Mart, less than a mile away from my house and pick up my prints in an hour.
I sat at home yesterday, shortly after taking some family photos, and created some Holiday Greeting Cards. The cards actually turned out pretty good and having customized Photo Greeting Cards at 40 cents a piece seemed reasonable considering how much some Greeting Cards can cost. I did get a few Greeting Cards of one type that they evidently don't have at the local store, so for those I will have to wait a few days, but I knew that up front. My wife wanted 4x6 copies of the photos I took to show around the office. Uploaded them as well and they were ready for pickup in an hour as well.
As Wal Mart is so close the convenience of printing at home isn't as big of a factor as it once was. The 4x6 prints were 24 cents each. As a Sam's Club member I could get the prints at Sam's Club in an hour as well at 18 cents a print, but as the nearest Sam's Club is 30 miles away in Columbia, MO, it would not be as convenient.
ZDNet had an article earlier this month on the topic, "Wal-Mart promises fast photo printing".