OP, just to offer my experience:
My 2G iPhone (does what I need, plus I save $240 on my AT&T contract with the cheaper plan) is two years old and still looks and works great - taken good care of it. I use the phone heavily, yet battery life is still good and I haven't needed to replace it. I run a non-profit organization and have two email accounts on the phone. I use and rely on my phone all the time. Email is not always perfect, but I will tell you that during the day 95% of the time emails arrive to my phone before they do on my computer.
There needs to be a referrence name for the phone for iPhone users like crackberry is for BB users. I don't know what I would do if I lost mine. It keeps me connected to my technology and needs. With the most recent update, 3.0 software, landscape mode is amazing, as is cut/copy/paste, the spotlight search, and mms (which you already know will technically be available through AT&T later this summer.) There's more on the update I haven't started using yet.
For me, the iPhone (including typing and the "smudgy" screen - if mine gets smudgy I don't notice) is so easy to use and does everything I need it to do like a workhorse. Good luck in your choice. Just wanted to add my input.
I would rather be rock climbing