I have an Epson EPL5500 laser connected via USB. I find that it takes a minute or so to be detected. If you just switch on and start printing, then you get a problem. You can, of course, leave it switched on all day if you print regularly as the power down enery consumption is only about 5 watts.
Is the Epson Status Monitor loaded at starup? Have you tried using a parellel connection? Try switch the USB connection to direct from the PC instead of via a USB hub.