I am a happy camper! The only issue I had with my phone, FaceTime activation, has been resolved. I’ve not actually called anyone yet with FaceTime yet, but will do so soon, hopefully. The problem was indeed related to my status as a former Alltel customer, and was apparently related to routing of the SMS/MMS messages used for activation. It was resolved by Verizon pushing a PRL to affected phones. See this for a writeup.
Otherwise, it’s been exactly what I expected. A great smartphone that works well as a phone! I’ve made a number of calls this week, and the iPhone has outstanding sound quality and “lots of bars.” I’ve not experienced the “grip of death” but I do have a Belkin silicone case on the iPhone. I’ve got my contacts synched with Google, my favorite apps installed, and rolling along. WiFi connectivity works well. I’ve done a Skype videoconference which worked well with the front-facing camera. I’m now looking into various camera-enabled apps that I didn’t explore on the iPad — “Scan to PDF” is an example, an interesting app that let’s you use the camera as a document scanner which outputs PDF files.
Thanks, Verizon, for combining the handset and the network! Can you hear me now? And see me, with FaceTime working!