Cheap power strips

Are cheap power strips simply a "ladder", with the input lines running down the side and each plug connected in turn? Is there any additional fusing or circuitry necessary to distribute 110v on a small scale like that?

I ask because I want to tap into power from a laptop style power brick, from before it hits the brick (the 110v side)

On cheap power strips I have seen, that is how they are generally set up; most recent ones also include a reset-able circuit breaker rated at 10-15 amps or so. Some also contain voltage spike protection, and maybe a light to show that the power is on to the strip.