Today I picked the printer I have mentioned yesterday - Xerox Phaser 6120N. It is somehow more bulky than the ML-4500, but boy, does it work !! From all available connection options (parallel port, USB, ethernet) I have of course chosen ethernet. Printer after switch on spent about 5 minutes doing strange and weird noises, initializing itself and then spit out a page with its DHCP-acquired network address.
To assign different IP address (so that it does not change) was very easy: go to http://192.168.x.x/ - whatever is printed on the status page and follow the Web instructions under 'Network'. Set new IP, disable the automatic IP settings, wait for printer reset (and new status page) and you can go on setting the clients.
Windows installation is very smooth - drivers are on the CD - and does not even need a reboot. As a nice surprise, the CD also contained PPD files so that now I have the printer accessible from CUPS on Linux as well. And as usual, Mac installation was pretty non-existent. The printer does not support Bonjour, but somehow both Mac's found it using AppleTalk - yet another thing I know not enough about and need to look up. So finally, all computers around my house can print reliably, in color without going through the hoops. Hooray !
The most amazing surprise was when I tried to print a photo. I have done it before and generally, laser printer comes nowhere even close to what you can get out of the photo inkjet - especially with proper paper. Now here I could not believe how good was the result: on plain paper, without any special calibration or color magic, the picture looked very close to an inkjet output - only waterproof.
This source is certainly not impartial, but anyway shows difference in fine details of output. I am no expert, but the printouts look certainly very good to me!
Disadvantages ? Beside the size, the printer is a bit noisier than ML-4500 when it prints. Other than that, none other issues found yet.