Hi Stephen, you've beautifully captured the nuances of the blackberry as a device and the love-hate relationship of owning one (or should i say, having one thrust upon oneself by one's employer). The smackberry certainly wins in terms of battery life and with its auto on/off feature for overnight use can easily last a week while still delivering email into your hands near instantaneously.
However, I think one aspect you haven't covered, perhaps because it doesn't irritate you, is the user interface - and by this I mean not just the keyboard, but the whole application design and GUI.
The hackberry, I feel, suffers from the problem that the main community responsible for its rise to stardom - i.e. all those corporate purchasers - are not the main user community. There is a disconnect here and consequently the splatberry suffers from a tedious and outdated interface that frankly would be laughable and disastrous if it were launched from new today.
Simple matters such as menus that are too long to fit on one screen, the inability to see when someone called without sub-selecting "view history" of each call (on my model at least) result in a propensity for scrolling and twizzling that sees one's finger tips breaking the olympic record for distance travelled on a daily basis. These are basic basic UI errors that the slick swishness of other device UIs put to shame.
And as for the keyboard - surely no-one with fingers fatter than a five pence piece could describe it as anything other than tortuous?! Picking the blasted thing up to dial a number - a core feature surely - let's say in a travelling car, singlehanded (not as a driver of course, merely as a passenger) and getting the right digits required to dial in the right order is only modestly more successful than getting one's precious lottery numbers. And of course, if it's dark, forget it, some of the models are not even backlit. Maybe the tedious business of phone calls is not meant to be performed in the dark?
This is, of course, if the device isn't still "hourglassing" while you've just fired it up for the first time in a while; a feature that becomes rapidly frustrating in the business context when time is of the essence (usually 30 seconds before a conference call).
I suppose I could find a use for my spangly spackberry with all those jangly facebook and twitter and life enhancing 2.0 apps - if it were not for the fact my corporate IT department has decided to lock the device down to the point where it's only moderately more useful than a paperweight...! sigh...
I enjoyed your article, I delight in your opinions, but sadly, I hate *my* blackberry..