But keep in mine things change over 7 years. I really like the metal-bodied HPs as they seem to be stout systems. All of my HPs have been great with the exception of my last purchase. It is an HP Envy M7 with a quad core i7 so a nice unit. The screen hinge is only held in by one screw in each rear corner (two total) and this is screwed into plastic. Of course this highly stressed area breaks and the forums are full of complaints about this problem. The audio and touchpad drivers are constantly giving me issues and I have the latest of each.. The auto-level of the microphone volume cannot be turned off and none of the settings for the touchpad ever save so the features I wish to turn off never stay off beyond one reboot.
I think this model was a dud but have had such good luck with all the past HP units that I would try at least one more before giving up on them. Keep in mind that discount store models are basically what I call a "$300 throwaway" no matter the brand. An HP isn't an HP, etc. Each manufacturer has different grades for people looking for various specifications and price. Never buy the cheapest one you can find as you won't have it 7 years. They aren't made to last. Also, you will get frustrated with the performance if nothing else.
Since you appear to keep laptops a very long time you might check into a business/professional grade unit as the extra cost might be worth it. The build quality is tougher on these as they are meant for business travelers and are expected to get banged around some in airports, trains, etc. Some of the consumer grade units are made of such cheap plastic that they are only good when set in place and left there like a desktop.
I have an HP Pavilion dv5 which I've had for the last 7 years, and structurally it's the best laptop I've ever had.
Keyboard's well spaced, touchpad's smooth with actual buttons and a scroll feature, and the speakers are rather good for a laptop.
Sadly, it's reaching the end of its days for several reasons, and I need to get me a new notebook.
I want one that's as much like this one, only superior in processor/memory/etc.