I too loved the reliability of the Bold 9700 when I got it last November. There was nothing like it. I mean, the first one had to returned because the screen was loose and the phone wasn't getting a data connection, but no biggie. I kept the second one until the end of December and there were only two or three outages during that time.
I love the reception too...when it had a connection it always kept the conversation going until it dropped...I never had any doubt that I would be able to get across most of my point to anyone during a discussion.
Ok, so the BlackBerry is nowhere near perfect. But for some things is bests every other mobile device on the market (when it works, of course). While I certainly prefer the email interface of certain other smartphones, the speed of BlackBerry email is not quite matched, even though others are starting to get close. While the browser is not flashy it usually gets the job done quickly which is really all I need it to do. The battery life on phones like the 9700 is phenomenal. Even on 3G it lasted through more emailing, web browsing, texting, as well as other use that any other smartphone aside from the Nokia E72 I was also using.
Why did I buy a BlackBerry? Reliability. Why don't I use a BlackBerry anymore? Reliability.
Will I come back? Sure, I think about buying another 9700 all the time, right up until I have to help someone fix a problem with their BB...I guess I'm not really so sure after all.
Take a look at my new blog: MobileGenius