They're pretty good. A bit overpriced in my opinion (you pay for the HP name). Check out the exact manufacturers data on the components used. They tend to be different even in the same line of notebooks. The main thing holding me back on buying a HP/Compaq is the bad experience I've had with Compaq notebooks. The Armada's I've used all had some problem concerning the motherboard (integrated NIC etc.).
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.