So here I am three years later having bought the HP. No hardware issues, though it takes a long time for the hard drive to settle down that I use Hibernate most of the time rather than shut down. But like all PCs, they should be rebooted once in a while in case of mamory leaks.
The only problems have been software. I made the gruesome mistake of downloading software from CNET. That installed all kinds of adware. The fix: roll back the machine to just before the installation, then get the software from the publisher's web site.
CNET.com and download.com used to be a reliable source for downloads but no more. I downloaded irfanview for my new Win7 laptop and the install added adware in the name of a survey. It was easy to uninstall once I googled the URL that it was going to.
After that I downlaoded malwarebytes and ran a scan. It told me I had some nimor issues and do I want to quarantiine them. After I did that I lost all internet access. It was essentially blocked. The solution was to roll bak to a point before installing irfanview. I then installed an older version downloded from cnet before that started adding the extra crap.
This poll clearly shows many of the concerns XP users are facing, and why they simply "can't make the change". It is not as easy as it seems!
If you are one of the XP users, you can protect your PC by downloading a software called Rollback XP. It is like an instant time machine for your XP machine, and will protect you from viruses. You can test the product yourself by downloading it from here: http://www.horizondatasys.com/en/products_and_solutions.aspx?ProductId=40
The external optical drive (unplugged) is on the right. To its left is the primary exteranl drive. Behind it is an Ethernet switch. the HP is above. The standing balck thing is a backup external drive. It's under a shelf with a Sonos sound system above. I'm thinking of getting another shelf to go over the Dell Laptop shelf. The HP coud go on top and that give me more surface area for papers to clutter.