I think where a lot of these companies screw up is that they want to make huge margins, but they don't have the product quality to do it. Apple are expensive, but at least they do manage to have a consistent fit and finish both though their hardware and software. Costs more, looks lovely, works pretty much perfectly provided you don't want to root it... which most "normal"** people don't.
Cheapy clones from China can compete on price alone.
But "brands" like HP and Dell seem to think they can knock out something pretty average looking, and still charge Apples margins. They can't. They might sell to business who can negotiate a slightly better deal plus support pacakge, but with consumers they need a better product. I'm guessing they don't lower their prices though because that would just kill their business market?
But the interesting thing with the HP TouchPad is that they were selling their own WebOS. But as WinMo7 proves, if you're starting on a back-foot (small user-base) you're unlikely to get anywhere. HP had an advantage over MS in that they have (had?) their own hardware AND software.... so, with the benefit of hindsight, if HP had built the TouchPad to the cost of say, the Hannspree Hannspad Tablet (10.1" ARM9 + Tegra II T20 1GHz), loaded WebOS on it, sold it at the same price as Hannspree (£149), then with an advertising push, they would've not made much money, but they would've likely gained much more market share which is important for WebOS and it's app-store. Once they have earned the right to charge a larger margin, they can.
Basically... HP should have *ME* as their CEO. Let's face it, it couldn't be much worse! :D
**Yeah, so not us lot!