I was told by the sales people from the two rival companies that Ricoh devices were significantly less expensive than their machines. And of course, they went on to imply a little more about Ricoh. Nothing outright but the implication was there.
There are three means of acquiring such a device. Firstly, there is leasing, then there is hire purchase and finally, there is outright purchase. In leasing and hire purchase, the costs will be spread over a long period. The sales people were keen to point out that leasing does not incur the normal asset acquisition costs and that one need not depreciate the device over a period in the account books. Of course, there are the financing charges. The sales people went on to speak a little of 'creative accounting' as a sales pitch. Devious.
There is a scheme where the servicing and toners are provided and the sheets are charged by a per copy basis. The industry average is about 1 cent for a black and white and 20 cents for a colour sheet.
I have also decided against purchasing from third parties representing the main distributors. My impression of them is rather poor due to a series of hard sell and poor communication.
I will be checking various sites for customer feedback once the models proposed are known.