As my signature indicates, count me in as an EliteBook fan--I have the 8460w workstation variant of the original poster's machine, which gave access to higher-spec quadcore i7 processors and a FirePro graphics card (the latter being the draw for me, as I was at the time doing considerable CAD modeling/analysis for work). Oh, and it's a darker "gunmetal" type color, with an illuminated HP logo on the lid (silly, I think) and a bright orange point stick nub to differentiate at a glance from the mainline -p model. As far as I could find, it was the only 14" workstation class machine on the market when I was buying, which made the purchase an easy decision. I was delighted to find that it has met or exceeded my expectations on almost all fronts vs ThinkPads, so far as what matters to me.
It is, as indicated, a bit heavy, due to the almost entirely metal construction...but the build quality far outstrips the contemporary T520, and as memory serves, is at least as good as a T60. While thinner and lighter are certainly convenient for travel, it's still plenty small enough to easily carry around. 2.36kg (with optical drive) isn't too much to ask for a full-featured mobile workstation with high specs and adequate cooling. There is delightfully easy access to all internal components via toolless (unless using security screw) removal of the magnesium bottom plate. It's as modular as an old ThinkPad, with socketed processor, standard RAM slots, ExpressCard 54, swappable drive bay (with battery option to replace optical/hard drive caddy--something that disappeared from mainline ThinkPads years ago), etc. As noted by previous posters, the 14" (and smaller) EliteBooks lack a third button for the pointing stick, but the software for it allows for reconfiguration of the buttons to rectify this: my personal solution is to disable the touchpad (excellent glass one far better than a T520 for the record) while using the four buttons for left-click, right click, middle-click, and scroll (going clockwise from upper left button).
There are two standout flaws in the machine: the keyboard light, a springloaded hidden device above the screen in lieu of a thinklight, is fragile and laughably dim/weak. This could have easily been fixed, but as a touch-typist doesn't impact me dreadfully. The more important flaw plagued all 14" models of the generation: a dismal LCD panel. The 1600x900 resolution is adequate (though I'd have preferred a 1080p option, if not 16:10), but the contrast ratio and viewing angles are horrid. The same, of course, was true of the competing T420(s) etc. Just luck of the draw for a bad year of panels, sadly. I understand the larger models offered displays ranging from good to fantastic (DreamColor).
The keyboard is good, with a far more sane layout than the current ThinkPads. Key feel is fine, but not standout good. A classic ThinkPad keyboard is far superior in layout and feel, but I had little trouble switching from a T520 (right layout but not as good as the older ones in feel) to it.
As indicated above, this was really the only small workstation-grade machine on the market when I was looking. A high-spec full-voltage quadcore processor is quite convenient for on-the-go FEA work (heavy iterative math), and the pro graphics was a must. Today the full-featured 14" workstation spec is basically gone, since Lenovo can't seem to do a machine without thermal throttling (nixing the T440p), and HP made the Zbook 14 a thinner/lighter model without a swappable/optical bay. Thus I expect/hope to use my 8460w for years to come yet, with the only conceivable replacement being the Ivy-bridge refresh 8470w (the same model but for an updated graphics card and processor): an upgrade not worth the money unless something catastrophic happened to my machine thus necessitating a replacement. I'll probably upgrade to 16GB of RAM before too long though, which along with the i7-QM and a nice enterprise-grade Intel SSD, pretty much maxes out the little beast.
And Tasurinchi: the 25x0p models are fantastic. I'd recommend the 2560p, as it's the last one with lid latches, and can be had with a surprisingly well-cooled Sandy Bridge full-voltage quadcore i7 if desired. An optical drive/swappable bay in a machine that size is pretty cool too The only letdown is the 1366x768 display, but you'd have to go to newer models to do much better in the 12" class anyway.
HP EliteBook 8460w/Scientific Linux 6.5