Huh...I've owned 2 HP laptops previously...the first lasted 5 years without issues and the one I currently have is used by my 17 year old daughter who doesn't exactly think about how she treats electronics matters. She's had it for 2 years and no problems either.
The $39 difference isn't just for 140GB of hard drive space. It's also an upgrade from an A6 to an A8 processor.
The hp g7-2251dx is an A8 processor ALSO, so only difference is i the hard drive, so the extra money could go towards an external HD that would more then quadruple in size, i.e., 1TB