Yeah I think you're right, that the dialer lag in Sense was pretty much neutralized by 2.31.651.7. I use the Go Dialer EX (part of Contacts EX), which works fast when its in memory. First load after reboot can be a little painful at times.
Well, I may be leaving Sprint soon. I've been interacting with folks in the Ting (MVNO on Sprint) community and they're a good bunch of people. The HTC Hero has now been added to their white list of existing Sprint phones that can be ported over. Thus, you don't need to buy a new phone. The rates are structured in a way that are ideal for low or sporadic usage customers. You can pay a little more if you use more services one month, then enjoy a discount in another month where you usage is less than usual. Rates are adjusted across three separate tiers: voice, sms, and data. I simply love the fact that there's no contract to worry about.