I am now part of the collective …

Yes, I got a BlackBerry.
I had the Verizon xv6800 phone as a replacement for the abominable Motorola Q, which replaced a Treo 650. The Treo was ok, 2.5 day battery life with reasonable usage. It just rebooted and crashed at random. Went through 4 hand sets. The Q was terrible. Absolutely horrible. The 18 hour battery life was annoying. I thought the xv6800 would be better.
Well, I was half right.

Windows mobile 5 was awful. Windows mobile 6 isn’t nearly as bad, but I would be hard pressed to call it good.
The phone itself had all these buttons around it. That were too easy to press. And cause functions to start.
The [x] in the upper right corner didn’t really close the applications.
You still needed to kill all apps.
IE-mobile couldn’t render many pages. Some of them were really bad.
The on-board wireless, didn’t work.
The camera (which I didn’t need) was slow/sluggish and took tiny pictures.
Mail was slow. Then again, I get ~280 legitimate emails a day, so most PDAs just crash under the load.
I tried to like it. Really tried. At the end of the day, the combination of (mis)features nearly caused me to return it. But they weren’t enough.
It was the battery life. I would unplug the phone from the wall charger at 8am, and by 6pm it was mostly drained. With Wifi off. And no auto mail pulls. When I turned wifi on by accident, and left it on (easy to do with those buttons), battery life was 2-4 hours.
I could live with the other bits … but this? No. That was just too much.
So today I joined the collective.
Of course it wasn’t without incident. For a phone everyone really likes, the Blackberry is surprisingly hard to set up. You need IT staff or help desk intervention to make it work. And, don’t ask me how, but my handset doesn’t have a browser. Brand new 8830 with GPS (well, maybe, not sure if it works), and has connection to gmail, our mail, and other things… and no browser. Verizon tells me it is supposed to be there. A trouble ticket has been opened.
It is amusing.
But it works. Pretty nicely. The Treo had a nicer UI, but it was inconsistent and missing things. The Q is terrible. The xv6800 had warts. This one is simpler as a UI. But it looks like it works. Also sort of looks like the thing is done in java. It has that “swing” look to it.
Tomorrow it is going with me to a customer, and I have two con calls with it. Will have the car charger, so hopefully I won’t have a problem. Lets see.
Too bad my Nokia E61 won’t work well here. Sitting on my desk, doing nothing, because the US uses a different 3G network than Europe, and only AT&T supports it. At slow data rates. But it does Wifi, web, everything. Has a SIP client (VOIP on the cell phone). Does lots of other things. Really awesome.