I finally decided to return my new HP ENVY dv6-7210us Notebook PC. The deciding factor was the battery life which was less than half what was advertised. I still have mixed feelings about Windows 8, but that may be more a reflection of my lack of time with it than real problems with the OS. My biggest frustration with Windows 8, as I mentioned previously, is that MS is requiring us to use a Microsoft account such as Hotmail to log on to Skype now instead of our traditional Skypename.
To Staples credit, it was very easy to return the notebook. I was in and out of the store in about five minutes with no questions asked. That was some great customer service! (That was easy!)
Here's what I'm going to do for the time being. I ordered a new Seagate Momentus Hybrid SSD 750GB drive for my old laptop. I'm going to install Windows 8 on it and see how it performs. My existing laptop is far from being a power monster, but it's got 4GB of RAM and a dual-core AMD processor. I'll let you know how things go.