Overview: The V2000 is probably the most successful and widely sold Compaq notebooks ever, and for good reason: it's got a decent combination of size (medium), weight, looks, features (mostly all there), and a widescreen. It is a bit long in tooth, but ... something this good always deserves a mention, so here goes:
Under the V2000 skin, there are two distinctly different systems/motherboards - one is based on the Intel chipset and runs on Intel Pentium M / Celeron M processors, the other is based on an ATI chipset and runs on AMD processors. I prefer Intel but the two are nearly indistinguishable in terms of speed or performance. Here's how to tell: The Intel based V2000's has a multimedia slot (SD card slot) located at its left, front corner, and the AMD based V2000's doesn't. That's it.
The basic line-card for the V2000: Intel or AMD CPU, up to 2GB of DDR memory, IDE hard drive, DVD / CD-RW or DVD/RW drive, optional internal wireless, 14" WXGA screen, 2 or 3 USB ports, and under 5.5 lbs. Footprint is relatively small but the screen is hinged in the rear so it'll take up more airspace than a normal laptop would. If you have 1GB or 2GB of memory installed in this thing, its performance should be good enough for the vast majority of us.
Now... this is a great notebook. Everything seems to be in the right place, and it's easy to use and pretty friendly. The only downside - and this is one that you gotta watch for - is that these were sold mostly to retail users, and a lot of them suffered from years of abuse, neglect, lack of care, etc. So buy judiciously.
Problem areas: (1) power jack on these things like to break or get loose - it can be trouble and can be costly to fix; (2) the touchpad and the rubber pads on the touchpad/mouse buttons tend to wear out over time, and it's not an easy thing to replace either of these things. That's about it. Over the years, HP and Compaq have sold its share of absolutely disasterous laptops/notebooks in absolutely disasterous quantities (read: huge), but the V2000 is not one of them. I mean... for crying out loud, name me one HP DVx or DVxxxx laptop that's not a complete disaster - just one! The V2000 is one of their best ones in terms of reliability. Would I buy one used? Absolutely. Would I pay extra for a mint copy? Hell yes! But by all means, pick and choose your fight - skip the ones that look abused, as it'll save you both work and money.
That's it. All comments welcome. Good luck!