On par with the Desire HD is about right
Having used equal measures of Pre and Desire HD, the equal rating makes sense.
The Desire HD has great hardware but the software is lacking as some of the HTC "improvements" aren't very well thought out, a bit buggy or missing something small which makes the experience a little frustrating. As in, loads of features but the polish isn't quite there.
Case in point, you cannot read a contacts address if it is too long because it scrolls off the end of the screen and doesn't word-wrap. Or if you start the calendar, flip sideways three days, hit menu and then "Add Schedule" that the date pre-populated isn't the one you're were looking at when you added the appointment. Yeah, both of them are minor and there are workarounds - but that isn't the point, it is the small things like these which show the difference between a user interface that has been carefully thought through and designed with how people use the device in mind and one which, well, hasn't.
On the other hand with the Pre, the software is really slick, has a great look and feel and is very intuitive. What lets it down is the poor quality hardware (case and the low resolution screen) and the fixed keyboard with tiny keys - which may be loved by techies the world over but not by the rest of the phone buying public.
HP could be onto a winner here if they get the hardware right. Of course, that is a big "if", but fingers crossed for them...