Had QWERTY based smartphones for about 4 years so I was skeptical about the Pearl Suretype keyboard. Took about 10 or so e-mails and SMS messages to get used to it and it's not bad at all. Heck, I even look at it as a free spell checker since it tends to guess the word I'm trying to type fairly well.
Personally, I think it's an excellent compromise between functionality and space. It's really nice to have a smartphone in a normal cell phone form factor that has a great keyboard.
But I do have my eye on the Curve also. If anything, the 3.5mm headphone jack is the draw for me and not the QWERTY keyboard and the additional size increase over the Pearl.