Well, not quite (the last time I played netball I ended up with a scar on one of my knees that I still have). I’ve been fiddling with the printer, and in a surprise move it seems that it is the new toner cartridge causing the issues. Let me explain: it appears to be a refilled and remanufactured cartridge. (Here comes the science part) Unfortunately the bearings on its mechanical gubbins are, well, on the verge of being shot. That means the extra resistance is juddering the toner roller and causing issues with the print quality. There isn’t much I can do, though I’ve oiled every moving part I can find. It has helped but not solved the problem.
So there we are. It seems the only solution is to be more careful when buying replacement cartridges. Also, if I can get some Epson original cartridges off Ebay, that too would help. For the time being though, I am still stuck with questionable print quality at the very best.