OK wrapping this up for me
I put the battery, SIM card, and sd card back in my old phone, uninstalled Handcent SMS, and got a friend to trade some MMS/text pictures with me. All of them sent and downloaded just fine.
I sent Handcent an email. I called Verizon to report it so maybe if other people had trouble and called, they might get some help, but of course I could not get past the initial person that always wants you to pull your battery.
I'm sending the new phone back because my original phone is all set up. Hopefully Handcent will fix this because I prefer to use it.