The network setup is very straight forward.
You can rip directly on the HP at 96, 128, 160, 192 and 256kps. I dont think it supports VBR. However, you can probably use VBR ripping on a PC then transfer them to the HP via a LAN.
I have not tried burning cd's directly on the HP, but I am sure it works fine just like any PC.
I ripped my CD collection (500 cd's) in 2 days on 3 PC's then transferred the files to the HP and also sent all the files to my Apple G4 to use with iTunes and my iPod and also to act as my backup.
The display on the unit is totally adequate for selecting and playing music without using the TV.
Hope that helps
I have also set up am egroup for the HP to try to get HP owners to share tips, experiences etc. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hpde100c/