My old mentor Nick Metas was part of the teams of graduate students who worked over the drafts of H&K when they were writing it for the linear algebra course at MIT in the 1960's.that being said,despite its' rigor and beauty,I think a "pure" linear algebra course is just as big a mistake as a pure theoretical calculus course no matter how good the students are. It's like teaching music students all about pentamer,note grammer and acuostics and never teaching them how to play a single note.I don't go for this whole pure/applied distinction,it's an idiotic consequence of this age of specialization.I love rigor,but applications should never be denied or ignored. That's why my overall favorite LA text is Friedberg,Insel and Spence-it's the only one I've seen that aims for and hits a terrific balance between algebraic theory and applications. I also love Curtis for similar reasons,but it's coverage isn't as broad. I love books that aim for that Grand Mean Balance-sadly,in America,there aren't anywhere near enough such texts.