I'm no expert either, I also dislike CUPS but lately have been able to get every printer working, even with CUPS!
If you are using SOHO and KDE maybe this How-To illustrates a better way of installing printers.http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=1594.msg9399#msg9399
I still use the Brother but install it with CUPS on my VL 5.9 Std. However there is a problem with CUPS as I explained here:http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=7009.msg47792#msg47792
I think you may have hit the same 'missing parallel-port' problem in CUPS
nightflier's parallel:/dev/lp0 address would work just as well.
Try it and see how you go.