Procurve switches, for me, have been fabulously reliable.
Unlike the "big C", they also:
Don't charge for firmware updates
Don't charge for support generally speaking
Have a fabulous warranty (covers everything except 'consumable' parts like fans)
Don't have policies explicitly designed to eliminate the secondary market
Are far easier to use than 'that other vendor' (Decent GUI, plus curses-based text menus, plus the rudimentary line-editor sort of thing most people use on that Other Brand)
That said, I never saw this kind of issue prior to HP's absorption of that Chinese company that used to call itself 3Com that makes those cheap and ugly things. :P
I'm leery of the new Procurve stuff. Never liked 3com much, and never wanted much to do w/ Huawei either after learning about their attempts to copy Ciscos IOS into their products without permission.