I have gone both ways in sublimation. several years ago I purchased the c-88 epson with carts. it worked ok but, it was too limited as far as size of prints and the cart prices were cost prohibited. At the time when I hade the printer the color cart was all one cart so if you ran out of one color you had to get a new cart. That may have changed. I ended up upgrading to the 1280 epson. It does 13x19 prints which opens up alot more options. I also went with the bulk system to save money on ink costs and allow me to top off whatever color I was low on. I had that system for about 4 years and ran thousands of prints off of it. I recently retired the 1280 due to clogging jets and trouble with the bulk system. I am now back to cartridges using the 4880. It does 17" wide prints and I havent had any issues with it so far. It's an expensive machine but I wanted to go as hassle free as possible. I was getting tired of the 2:00am jobs because of printer issues.
As far as inks go I have used Rotech, Airtanium & now Sublijet IQ. I could not tell you anything bad about any of them. I decided to go with Sublijet IQ on my latest printer just to save on having to buy a multi-Rip and I am totally pleased with the results.
Just remember the smaller the printer the more clogging issues. When I was first starting out I went small because I wasn't sure about the business and had a budget and still made money and had excellent looking products on all. I am actually thinking of getting another c-88 and small portable press for local events.