I hate these machines because of the misery they spread. Their low prices ensnare the less-savvy, and invariably their proprietary bits of hardware, vault-like case configurations, and greedy bloatware all cause frustration and headaches. The hapless user will then call their freind who “knows all about computers”. If you happen to be that person in your circle of friends, then you are going to be dealing with a lot of these machines.
My wife and I have both had to tangle with HP / Compaq machines from time to time, and the experience is always a miserable waste of time. These are machines designed by people from marketing and not engineers. “Sure, we could use an off-the-shelf power supply, but if we use this HP-only version then we can charge people an arm and a leg if it burns out. All we have to do is make sure the power supply costs a little less than a new computer.”
I don’t even know what can be done about this. I know better than to get one of these machines, but I can’t stop everyone else from buying them. I keep waiting for HP to get some comeuppance the way DELL has recently, but so far it isn’t happening. They should have an Edsel-ish reputation by now, yet they keep selling new machines.