Everything you ever wanted to know about HiPoints:
My humble opinion:
Ruggedness: check! That's what they are really known for -- truck box guns, tackle box guns, etc.
Reliability: Not bad at all, from what I've heard. Them that actually have them seem to like them. One problem I have heard is that they are a bear to field strip, though. But OTOH it seems that they just don't require it.
Biggest complaints? First, older ones seemed to be VERY problematic, and that lead to many people hating them. Second, I heard that whatever you do, do NOT use brake cleaner to clean them. As I mentioned earlier, they are a bear to field strip. And they are big, heavy and homely. They have also been associated with gangland crime, due to their low cost.
Oh, and the folks that seem to badmouth them are either the ones who had old ones and got "burned", or are those who feel that everyone should spend a bunch more $$$'s and get "name brand" guns instead. Both have their points, but should be taken with a grain of salt.
IMHO, if you are on a tight budget and want something new, and can't afford a Bersa or a Makarov, then a HiPoint is a good SD option. No question that they are well worth the money.
For that matter, I've considered getting one in 9mm just as a range gun (for the cheap 9mm ammo), a backup HD gun, truck/tackle box gun, and something I won't be too sad to lose in case I need to head down to N.O. to help friends clean up after the hurricane.
Oh, one other thing: I know that the 9mm is a little more expensive than the .380, but even if you are on a tight budget, I'd still suggest going with the 9mm. You'll make up the price difference and then some quickly in ammo savings, not to mention that 9mm is a more effective SD round.