Hewlett Packard (HP) ink cartidges provide the best quality and most consistent printing in my HP6500 printer. Colors are vivid and close to true as possible with this relatively inexpensive printer of mine. I usually get the specified pages from an ink cartridge made by HP. Sometimes a little less, expecially if I have not printed for a while. Sometimes more if I'm running a 'batch job' like printing Christmas Greetings to send to family and friends. I read somewhere that this is due to the 'cleaning' the printer goes through after it's been sitting a while unused.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Since my HP OfficeJet 6500A Plus uses five cartridges at a time, I have replaced the magenta cartridge 3 times and all the other color cartridges only once. This seems odd to me that the magenta cartridge wears out so fast. My printer use lately is mainly for copying vinyl record information from the internet to supplement my collection ie. history, tracks, cost, etc. I use the extra copy black cartridge and have already replaced it once. I have had this printer since March 2011!
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend