Can’t really recommend any printers. I’m a fan of HP’s (although I have an old Lexmark laser at home).
What you use for printing depends on volume requirements and what you want to invest in. If you already have printers then just go with those to begin with.
As far as configuration – Network printers (device class *LAN) will require a Manufacture type and model in the AS/400 device description. That is what handles the translation to the correct data stream (ASCII, PCL, etc) for your printer. You can also have an option workstation customization object which will do things like change the default font or swap printer drawers.
Locally attached printers (device class *VRT) are virtual devices that you set up through iSeries Access. On the emulation window, select Communication > Configure, pick “Printer” for type of emulation and then click the Setup button. You can select the font size and optionally check the box to transform to ACSII on the iSeries – and then select the type of printer hardware.
Personally, I don’t encourage users to create virtual printers. Our user base is across the entire country and each office has sufficient network printers. Excessive virtual printers become a support nightmare unless your help desk has a good grasp of (AS/400) reality!
As far as using AFP.. I think that you need to insure the printer understands AFPDS. But I’m not 100% sure. That might be handled through selecting the “Transform to ACSII” and then selecting the type of printer in the iSeries Access setup.