In the past 10 years, I've built probably over 100 computers. I have also been repairing laptops for several years. As an avid gamer, it is of upmost importance to have peak performance.
With that being said, you folks that think formatting makes a world of difference on a new machine are simply taking a "Packard-Bell Service Tech" approach. If things are done properly, a formatted machine will run at exactly the same speed as a new machine, that was properly cleaned and configured from its origional state.
There is nothing wrong with wiping your brand new HD clean on any machine, but you are providing misinformation when you claim it is necessay, and will result in increased performance. If properly done, there will be no performance difference.
Some folks here have limited experance, and if they follow your advice they just might end up with more than they bargined for, and a non-working laptop.
In some cases, it may be just as fast to format, and for me its a simple process to do so, and then install all the needed drivers. For others, it may not be, and warrants validating the need to do so.
I'm not saying don't format, I'm simply saying don't use the reason for doing so to increase performance.