Yes, I never did follow up, for the one or two people who read the blog, as to what happened with HP. Basically, it went well.
Remember as I didn't have 'premium' support, I was required to call them. So when back home in the UK, I rang them. Initially, UK call centre, British lady, who wanted to go through all the basics, have you plugged it in etc. I went along, briefly, and then became a little short, pulled the 'tech' rank on her per say. 'Look I build my own PC's and worked in IT, can we not go through this', type of thing. The Blu-ray drive is dead, completely. She then, rather unexpectedly, decided that I can be put through to 'premium support'. Sounds good I thought. Now I was through to chap who was clearly, abroad, probably Indian, and yes so was probably the Google weirdo e-mailing me. The chap had one very odd Indian accent, but he was perfectly legible, and didn't patronise me one bit. He went through some Q & A's which he said were mandatory, and within a few minutes he had booked a collection. Impressive.
A few days later a delivery, rather collection, man turned to collect it, he had a big padded box into which I was meant to place it. It was quite a sturdy nice looking box, but I wasn't quite ready!
Drat, I had to delete some personal stuff of it sharpish, and no time to wipe the free space. My fault, should have been better prepared, or better still, should have had a small hard drive on standby to place in the machine with a restore from the system discs on it.
The chap really was on a tight schedule gave me minutes within which to do this, and at one point threatened to leave, but I completed what I could in time and gave it him.
It was returned about 10 days later, which wasn't the quickest of service, but as it is not my main machine, tolerable under the circumstances.
So it all works fine, the track pad is a nuisance as ever, if I install the Windows update version (I must remember to hide that some time!) it goes epileptic again. Then I have to install the Synaptics one, and reset it to its default settings too. But the right click is still a pain; it has to be quite near the bottom edge to work, pain, and total pain. Having been through that Synaptic's bloated setting programs, I couldn't find where to change the zone areas, that I was sure I had seen before, I will look at it again some time when I'm using it and don't have a mouse handy, that I nearly always do.
Oh one fly in the ointment, the HP report claimed that they found no evidence that it scratched discs, despite my having a few of them, as photographed in the original blog entry. Naughty naughty, not admitting it so that they wouldn't have to pay out a possible claim for damaged software discs. Or was the laser head somehow better positioned not to scratch discs by the time it reached them? No idea.