Previously I was running GDE and the stock messaging app. I tried out an upgrade on both. I replaced GDE with Home++ since it was free. I never really had any troubles with GDE, it just lagged a little behind occasionally. Home++ is.. well.. nice. Very very nice. It seems smoother, the sliding task bar on the bottom is a great touch. I added my notification bar back across the top because there was no visual notification for the notification button. I wish there was a way around this because the screen looks SO much cleaner without the bar across the top. Now the stock messaging app is fine, but Handcent is amazing. The customizing is pretty great, I love the different backgrounds with different contacts and the ability to customize every conversation. Only problem I've had is that occasionally if i'm talking to two people at once, the background might carry over from the previous conversation. Hoping maybe that's just an occasional occurance though. My only big concern is that my facebook profile pictures won't sync up with the conversations. If anyone has any questions about these apps feel free to ask, it has truely changed my droid for the better, and I was already in love with it. If anyone has a solution for the facebook profile pic I'd love it!