from Helproom to Consumerwatch, where it will probably do better.
You can get an external floppy drive easily enough, and in fact when I bought my HP laptop a year or so ago it came with a voucher that offered an HP floppy drive at a very reasonable cost.
All of the machines you quoted are aimed very firmly at the student market, and I'm sure that all of them will do the job. The Compaq 2178 being offered by PC World is, in my opinion, something of a bargain, and if the budget permits I would snap it up before they all go. Stock of these machines is bound to be limited.