Found a solution from the forum to solve the driver issue for my LaserJet 1020 printer.
The trick is to install the driver CD that came with the printer even if it is not designed for Vista. After installation a printer test page was printed successfully but other applications still can't print. A reboot was necessary.
The trick was some changes at the printer configuration. In the advanced tab of the printer properties click open 'print processor' and select 'IMFPrint' for processor and 'RAW' for 'default data type'. That was it.