I agree. I've found that using the manufacturers' cartridges ensure photos have minimal fade in sunlight too.
As for ink blocking, I can leave my ancient iP4000 Canon printer for months without any issue when I then ask it to print. It then does a rather long clean, which uses ink of-course, but if that's what it takes then I wouldn't argue. It still produces first class results (better than I've seen with some modern printers). I don't do so much printing these days so running costs are less important.
If you are not worried about fade, quality and ink clogging then maybe substitutes have their place - but I'm no longer prepared to use them.
Years ago I messed with manual refilling, got covered with ink and produced rubbish prints - never again.
Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks