Just to let you guys know the resolution of my AT&T saga: the phone did eventually come, and I’ve had a few minor issues, but I’ve been generally happy with what I’ve received.
The activation process didn’t work correctly and I had to call and read numbers to them that their automated system should have prompted me for. A couple weeks later, I got a text message saying that my phone had “exceeded $20 in text messaging charges this month” so I called them up and apparently the text messaging plan I’d selected was never actually applied to my account, but that was easily taken care of and retroactively applied.
I have been extremely satisfied with the device itself. My initial reservations about the on-screen keyboard have gone away; I have a very decent typing speed on the phone, especially with two free hands. I wasn’t really able to type one-handed on my Windows Mobile phone due to the device’s design. I’ve never owned an iPod before, preferring standalone usb key-type players, but I find myself using the integrated iPod functionality on a fairly regular basis, especially the “Genius” mode.
While the voice recognition is neat, it can’t really distinguish things I feel that it should; and there are certain people/song names that I can’t get it to recognize, even after repeated tries and variations on pronunciation. The funniest of these is Monty Python’s “The Lumberjack Song.” I also don’t know too many commands, which is sad because you could probably do some very neat things with voice recognition on a phone.
Signal is generally good, although I live in a major metropolitan area so I’d hope it would be. I didn’t get any signal in the panel/conference rooms in the Sheraton (one of the Dragon*Con hotels) although I did get signal in the deepest rooms of the Hyatt, which didn’t work for me under Verizon.
At the recent football game against Clemson, I went from having five bars when the stadium was half-full to not being able to connect to the network at all with the stadium full. That’s a pretty serious problem to me; big sporting events are one of those places where you use/need/depend on your phone. Hillary has Sprint on an ancient phone and was able to connect just fine.