I am very new with the Pearl 8130, just since Thursday, but I have had an Axim for a few years. My Axim is now in my car a dedicated GPS machine, as I am on Bell Canada and they charge even more for GPS than they already do for the measley Data plan I have.
I love the Pearl. Syncing with the BB was so much easier than the real heartaches I have had with ActiveSync. The contacts and calendar from Outlook are there, and I have a modified Today screen (a copy of the Windows mobile Today screen you are used to), which gives me my upcoming appts from my calendar. Just pick about any Today theme you like the Date and time top portion of the screen and you can just put your own background in it.
The thing you will miss most is the touch screen. But the track ball is easy to use, and the whole navigation is fairly intuitive.
But I love the voice commands on the Pearl, makes up for just about any shortcomings it may have. I have 1300 contacts loaded, and with nothing else done, I can say call "John Doe at home" and damn if it doesn't do it. Remarkable accuracy. Love it, who needs a full keyboard, who needs to type!