I just did this swap last week - very happy with the new look of my BB. Thanks for the great info and details -- very helpful!!!
I started with a stock silver 8830 W/E from Verizon. My goal was to convert the entire front side to black -- and keep the backside silver (similar to the color scheme of the iPhone). The white keys on the black buttons is MUCH better than the blue/silver.
Also, I was a tad concerned about voiding my warranty...but I couldn't find any seals that would be broken as a result of this process. After doing the swap, this could be easily reversed in the event that you needed to return your phone. Although, the lense replacement was a tad tricky (see below).
Keep in mind, the side rails and the LCD lens are held on with double sided sticky tape (in addition to some clips etc). If I had it to do over again, I would have just purchased this black faceplate lense already attached. The double sided tape was a PITA to work with. http://cnn.cn/shop/blackberry-880088...ns-p-1729.html
This tool is worth the $$ for anyone who is doing this. It will keep you from gouging any of the plastic parts: http://cnn.cn/shop/cellphone-opener-p-257.html
FYI - I had the small torx tools already...but you can order those from here: Tools - Motorola, LG, 3G, Tools, BlackBerry, Acer, HTC, Alcatel, Apple, SonyEricsson, Pa
This is what I recommend if you want a black front:
If you want the entire front side and keys in black, I highly recommend ordering these parts (you might want a different bottom plate than the orange square that I have): http://cnn.cn/shop/blackberry-880088...ns-p-1729.html BlackBerry 8800/8830 OEM black keyboard- Sony, Panasonic, Dopod/O2, SonyEricsson, Alcatel, NEC, Accessories Store, Samsun bb-8800-05 Blackberry 8800/8830 OEM chrome silver side rails- SonyEricsson, Tools, 3G, Nokia, NEC, Alcatel, Sony, Panasonic, Dopod/O2, Motorol BlackBerry 8800/8830 OEM black front bottom cover - Orange brand- Tools, BenQ-Siemens, BlackBerry, Nokia, NEC, Apple, LG, 3G, Sony, SonyEricsson,
It took about 2 weeks for them to arrive from China etc...and about 45 minutes to do the entire swap.