I've been venting on Facebook, Twitter, here and anywhere within ear- or eyeshot about my battles with HP Tech Support and their consistent failures. I'm sick of it, you're sick of it, and these should be my last words on the subject for now.
Gaining experience from my recent interactions with HP/Compaq Tech Support, I can only advise you not to purchase an HP consumer product, unless you consider it disposable. You can do the research - a simple Google or Yahoo search on "HP support rankings" or something similar will reveal plenty. The corporate products do not seem to have this trouble... so far. I'm sitting here right now looking at ten new HP desktops with trepidation.
Tech Support from HP/Compaq for me has been incomptent, unreponsive and has failed to resolve the last 4 issues I've brought to them - three of them under warranty, all within the last 15 months.
No one wants to bring up a problem without a solution, so my recommended solution is to research the computer and the manufacturer before you buy. If you go for the inexpensive, instant fix from WalMart or OfficeMax, that's what you'll be using daily until it doesn't work. When you take it back for repairs, be prepared to wait and spend money.
Acer has its share of hardware and support problems, and I've been along for the ride more than I care to. I'll spare you the details; this is a summary of my experience. Also, if you value your sanity and mine, do not buy anything that says eMachines on it.
That's it. Back to help and support from here. You've been asking for this information, I've put it out there, and that's it.