HP makes good PCs, and this post is singularly MY OPINION... I would stay away from HP.
Think of it this way, you will hardly ever have any issues with the PC, but when you decide to upgrade it, you need to take it into the dealer to upgrade and/or fix because most of everything is proprietary to HP.
I would stick to Dell, great products and great warranty and service.
I too would avoid HP like the plague - had enough of their bargain offers in the "compact desktop" arena - look nice and really crap - the one thing they were good at designing was built in obsolesence.... in a laptop this is exactly what you are fighting AGAINST....
there are some good dell threads around though (hint)
sorry gonaads - I did nto click the link so had no idea that was dell... I just felt the need to urge a little caution, but I do understand if you are on a budget and you may have other factors - so HP it is (although inside it will really be something else I think!)