First off, let me explain that I'm really diggin' Ubuntu, and I want those around me to use it.
My dad has had the same computer for almost 10 years now. It's an old Pentium II, 600MHz, 128MB ram, 20GB hard drive. OLD. Today I bought him a new computer, and his gf Rita got the same one. They are HP Pavilion Slimline's with AMD Athlon X2 dual core procs, 3GB ram, big 'ol hard drives, etc.
They will not be using the Vista that comes pre-installed. Even if I can't get a refund, I'll still be installing Ubuntu. That being said, I read an article on linux.com about a guy that got a refund from Dell and decided to give it a try. There's also a Wikipedia page on Windows refunds, which lists some specific cases. Hopefully they are true stories.
So, I was on the phone with an HP tech support guy for 45 minutes this evening. He was very nice and polite, but tried to feed me most of the lines I was expecting. He tried to convince me that Vista was free, and that if I were looking for a refund, I should try Microsoft. He also told me to return it to the store, but that won't work either.
Tomorrow at 11:30 Central I should be expecting a call from HP. The case was escalated to the complaint department, and then the case manager will review it and let me know what their decision is. Regardless, I hope the info can help others out there that might find themselves in the same boat.