personally i am a little biased but i would go with the pearl. in my own experience it is easier to use and i think it would be more practical for what you are using it for (i'm in college too and it is so handy with its calendar, notes, alarm, etc etc) and extremely personalizable if that is what you are into.
also i got mine for $150 with a $50 rebate for starting a new plan so it came out to $100.
when you say wifi do you mean from tmobile? if i'm not mistaken the new tmobile pearls can be used on the wifi at home? someone back me up here