I am an **EXTREMELY** unhappy U.S. Cellular customer with a 3 + year old blackberry 8703, *well* out of contract. I have been anxiously waiting, and waiting for an android-based phone to be made available on a CDMA carrier for almost 2 years now (Ever since Android was announced.) I was not about to renew my contract with U.S. Cellular and miss an opportunity to JUMP on an android phone as soon as one was available where i live. (One of my BIGGEST grips with U.S. Cellular is that, like Verizon, they hobble their devices (disable GPS to be more precise) *however* unlike Verizon, they do not even offer a map program at any price to re-enable internal GPS.) T-mobile is completely out of the question, they do not have ANY presence in my AREA CODE (641 - Central/rural Iowa) let alone local coverage, and without number portability, switching is out of the question. Now that VZW has merged with Alltell, who DOES have coverage in my area, reportedly the "switch" from alltell to VZW for this area is to occur mid-October, so VZW is a definite possibility. Also, Sprint has coverage in the town I work at most of the time, and has just put up a new cell tower near my home town, providing coverage. There are a couple of areas Sprint shows as roaming between home and work (35 mile drive) but I don't think it's any worse than my current US Cellular coverage (It is quite likely that they are using US Cellular as the roaming partner judging from their online coverage maps) This leaves me with a choice between Sprint and Verizion. Sprint's packages are definitely less expensive than VZW, but VZW looks to have wider coverage. 1 point each. Sprint has in the past been very good about not hobbling their smart phones, 1-point Sprint. Verizon, however, according to the rumors should be getting the Moto Sholes, which, at least according to the "rumored" technical specs would be my first choice with the T.I. Processor. I am hoping that VZW will announce their Android plans, along with actual specs of the Sholes by the time Sprint releases the Hero here. If they do not, then it's kind of a moot point for now, and I will be going Sprint with the Hero. However, assuming VZW *does* announce the Sholes, with a release date mid to late October I will probably hold off and go with them, even though service is going to cost about $50 a month more, but ONLY if the phone is not hobbled. (And I'm hoping with all my heart that Motorola is not so "proud" of their teenie-bopper "blur" that they feel they have to put it on a higher-class phone like the Sholes, as I am most definitely NOT interested in tweeting my whereabouts to my "social contacts") My question is, if Verizon DOES hobble the Sholes, short of actually removing the GPS hardware, what are the chances the phone can be rooted and FULL functionality restored? (I'm guessing that with the higher-end hardware there will be quite a few of these end up in developer/hacker hands....) Along those same lines, if this does ship with Eclair (Android 2.0) as speculated, and if Moto feel they have to "use blurr" on it "because they put so much time and effort into it", if the phone turns out to be able to be rooted, can I likely install a "stock" version of Android 2.0 on the phone and still have the associated hardware work? Waiting around for much longer is not an option, really, as I want to get away from US Cellular at the first possible instant. I've been promising them I'm going to do it for years now, and I intend to follow-through on it, however I *would* be willing to wait a month for a better phone if necessary, but I'll be damned if I'll put up with a hobbled phone again that I can't "fix". US Cellular may or may not "miss" my $4000 + per year I give them to hobble my phones, (4 lines, 3 of them blackberry) but I *do* have the satisfaction of knowing that I have influenced at least another 20+ phone lines away from them over the past few years to Sprint and Alltell, and another 3 friend of mine are waiting for me to see who I jump ship to for an Android phone. I know 1 will follow, the other 2 will also likely follow. I have no love for Verizon or Sprint, but my hope is they grab a LOT of US Cellular customers away with some decent phones.