Combination Printers with Scanner / Copier features are just as good as single components, only they take up much less space and give you the same quality you'd get from a standalone printer / scanner...
Lexmark and Hewlett Packard are really good on this side, especially for their under ?100 models...
Personal preference here I think. You need to weigh up your requirements. Do you need a scanner? Do you need a copier? Are you limited for space? Is an all-in-one within your budget? If the answer to these questions is yes then go for an all-in-one. If not then go for a basic ink jet printer. In both cases remember to take into account the cost of replacement cartridges.
dth good point, bit like a combi TV/Video. yep got to agree with this good fellow, one goe,s then what happen,s to the rest???? saying that i have got one lol an the printer is up the creak not long i would think before the scanner and copier go,s as well.
Although I use an all in one (tiny cottage!) I'd prefer to use separates. I've had both hardware and software problems which have meant that I couldn't use the printer because the scanner component was playing up and vice versa.
Laser printing is much faster, and usually cheaper. I have three gadgets. A laser printer, which I use all the time, a colour printer which I use occasionally, and a scanner that I use once in a blue moon. Go for a budget laser printer for long term value for money first, and add the other bits when you really need them.
If you don't intend to do much printing, a multifunction device is a good compromise, but be aware that it is a compromise. Expensive to run, jack of all trades, master of none.