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Paper feeders on the 1280

Does the feeder tray or manual feed on the 1280 enable you to consistently 
get an accurate printout when using thicker media?

We had a Epson Stylus Color 1520 that recently conked out on us at our 
office.  We used it primarily to print color graphics on 11 x 17 paper and 
on 80 lb matte card stock for document covers.

When we bought a new printer, it was an HP DeskJet 1220C.  It claimed to be 
able to print on the thick paper we use for covers and does, 
occassionally.  The problem is with the manual feed slot that allows thick 
media to run through the printer.  It does not consistently take the paper 
due to the way that it must be loaded from the back during the print 
cycle.  Loading from the back is awkward and getting the paper set in the 
tray perfectly is very difficult.  Sensors pick up the paper and often take 
it crooked or a little late or even miss it completely and the printer 
starts spitting ink on the bottom of the casing, not realizing the paper 
isn't there.  After hours of reconfiguring settings and customer service 
calls the problem has not been alleviated.

On our old Epson there was a manual feed slot where you could kind of slide 
the paper in a little groove in the top feeder before sending a job to 
print.  The paper was secure and although it was slow, the printing was 
good and reliable.  We want to send back the HP and are looking into 
getting an Epson 1280, but I don't want to order it unless the feeder works 
in a more reliable way for thicker media.  How does the paper feed work in 
the 1280?  Any help or suggestions on a better suited printer would be much 

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