Take it to a local Circuit City if you have one. We are authorized repair centers for HP's. If it's bad memory the store will order a new part from HP who overnights it to us. If it's something more complicated we're required to ship it off, but it gets overnighted to HP, is there an average of 1-2 days, then overnighted back to the store. I do about 2-3 a week like this and they're almost always back to the customer within about a week. I do once in a while get longer delays, but they're not common.
I can really take my HP laptop to CC for repairs? That's sounds like the way to go! Assuming, authorized means you bill HP and not myself?