| | Update from WSJ
Well, I've found some of my answer in the WSJ (25 Jan 06):
"Since BlackBerry handsets run only the BlackBerry operating system, users wouldn't have access to other corporate email programs in the event of a service shutdown. But the device wouldn't be totally useless. The phone part, along with text messaging, may still work, analysts say."
Beyond that, however, the wireless companies are taking an ostrich approach to this entire thing...at least in public. They simply pretend the problem doesn't exist, leaving their CSRs (either on the phone or in person) to muddle their way through any questions on the topic, either spewing outright misstatements (I hesitate to call them lies), or shrugging their shoulders. This is a failure of corporate marketing.
The end result is I'm still going to buy my BlackBerry...but I'm going in with eyes wide open...and far more informed than the people in the stores with whom I deal.