Welcome home, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Infantry, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, WI Army National Guard! Job well done in Iraq!
I use the BlackBerry Bold 9000 (AT&T), and I (heart) it.
Only 3 drawbacks:
* Seems most apps are made for the iPhone and iPad these days, and less apps for the BlackBerry. But there's still a ton out there.
* Those apps? Yeah, there's not much memory for them on the BB. You can't save them to the media card you put in the phone, either.
* You really need to "re-boot" the phone once a day. By which I mean, take the case off the back, remove and re-install the battery, and wait. Otherwise you run out of memory, and it's the only way to fix the times when the little clock just spins round and round and your phone does nothing but burn battery time.
Love the keyboard and trackball (Bold 9700 replaced the ball w/ an optical pad...I've heard bad things.) Good still and video cam on the 9000, too.
Recommended. Make sure you visit CrackBerry for all kinds of tips and products, too...awesome they are.
I just picked up the Bold 9700 a couple weeks ago and am really happy with it. I like the keyboard and touch control that replaces the trackball a lot better than my old Curve.
As far as apps, the only ones I really use are Uber Twitter, Facebook, and iheartradio, so I'm not app-heavy. The Facebook app really seems to be a memory hog on BlackBerrys.
I wouldn't mind trying an iPhone, but my phone is company-supplied and we're not AT&T. I know several people who have iPhones and swear by them. I use some apps on my iPod Touch via wi-fi and like the feel of it a lot.
I settled on the Samsung Galaxy. It's a great phone with a good touchscreen. There are some sweet apps for it, but there are some shortcomings. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to move ringtones from the SD card to the phone, and it tends to reset at random times (hence potentially making it useless as an alarm clock) but I'm digging Android right now.
I took everyone's advice seriously, and I think you all for your suggestions. I ended up stuck in a three-way tie between the Galaxy, a Blackberry phone, and the Palm Pre.
The Palm Pre was an interesting choice but I admit I was concerned with taking up a phone from a manufacturer that was recently bought out (would HP do anything with Palm? Will they honour repair orders? Questions questions) and the Blackberry phones that were in my price range...the trackball felt really uncomfortable under my finger. I was SO close to getting one of those flip ones.
And a word to the wise, if ever considering going with a cellphone company, stick to their corporate stores. The wifey and I visited a kiosk that offered cellphone services and were immediately put off by their lack of knowledge and interest in their product. The corporate stores were very well stocked and their sales people knew what the hell they were talking about. Imagine that.
If you end up on I-70 through Kansas, watch out for the World's Largest Groundhog around Goodland, KS. Complete with miles of billboards advertising it, like old Burma Shave ads. "Pet the Baby Pigs"--wow, who can resist THAT?!