HP is known for its excellent printers, half-assed computers, and more recently, piss poor customer service. The old HP laser printers were built like tanks. They may be slow and heavy, but they can take all sorts of abuse and keep running. I still have an old LaserJet II that's chugging into its 10th year of active duty.

An HP computer is a good choice if you're looking for an inexpensive machine to read email and surf the web. But woe unto he who tries to modify one. Their tech support web site is so slow it seems to be running on an HP48 calculator, and their support "engineers" seem to have been trained by AOL. I think I voided my warranty within a week of getting the thing. HP was the first (though not the last) company to make me use the phrase "I'm not asking you to support linux, I'm asking you to support your damn hardware!"