The blocking problem is going to occur with any printer if one or other of the ink cartridges is not used regularly. As you say, the problem with Epson is that the printhead is part of the printer not the cartrdge and the fault is more persistent/permanent.
You will get as many opinions as to the best printer as there are printers to pass opinions on. In the end, it's always what YOU think is best. If you like the HP XYZ, go for it. Personally, I would never look at an HP printer but that's no reason why you, and thousands of others, may find them perfectly satisfactory.